Labour has created the ‘most centralising Government in the Western world’
The Welsh Labour Government has been labelled the "most centralising Government in the Western world", by Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Russell George.
It follows a move by Labour Ministers to centralise decision-making power over onshore wind infrastructure, denying local communities a voice – in direct contrast to the situation in England.
From March 1st, Councils in England will be empowered to determine onshore wind applications – regardless of size. Meanwhile, Labour Ministers have acted – immediately – to centralise this power in Wales.
As such, only small onshore wind applications, under 10 megawatts in size, will be determined locally in Wales. This has created a stark deficit of empowerment between the role of local planning authorities either side of the border – and risks ignoring the wishes of local people in the determination of onshore wind applications.
The proposals were passed via secondary legislation on Tuesday.
It comes only weeks after Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party similarly wrestled power from local planning authorities in relation to energy generating stations of between 10-50 Megawatts – a move only opposed by Welsh Conservatives.
Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, Russell George AM said:
"With this latest power grab, it is abundantly clear that, under Labour, the Welsh Government has become the most centralising Government in the Western world.
"Jeremy Corbyn's Labour seem hell bent on ripping power away from local planning authorities, and local communities, meaning critical decisions are made further away from the people they impact upon the most.
"This is in direct contrast to the situation in England, creating a deeply worrying deficit of empowerment in Wales.
"As the party of localism, Welsh Conservatives believe it is vital that decisions are made closer to the people they impact upon – and we are ready to empower local communities to have a real say our nation's planning process."