Unite said today (June 22) that it is extremely concerned by media reports that the UK Government is set to block the go ahead for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.
With only 8 days left until planning consent for the project expires, there is considerable speculation that Whitehall officials are sabotaging the scheme which would be a landmark infrastructure project for Wales and the UK.
Unite has consistently backed the project, seeing it as a way of revitalising the economy of South West Wales and positioning Wales and the UK as a world leader in the emerging green tidal energy sector.
Unite Wales Regional Secretary Peter Hughes noted that Welsh manufacturing has “taken a hammering in recent years”.
“The Covid19 pandemic has worsened this trend and industrial employment in Wales has taken giant strides backwards in recent months,” he said.
“Supporting the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project would be a perfect opportunity for the UK Government to show that Wales will not, yet again, be at the back of the queue when it comes to landmark infrastructure projects,” he added. “Boris Johnson has previously gone on the record in Wales supporting this project, he has to keep his word on this.
“It beggars belief that a Government touting ‘green recovery’ continues to ignore the one piece of green infrastructure sitting shovel-ready in Wales and the one opportunity we have to seed a new growth industry in Wales,” Hughes went on to say. “This project makes economic and environmental sense and would give our country hope that it can emerge from this crisis with some hope for the future.
“Wales wants and needs this project. If Boris Johnson rows back from previous commitments and continues in the Tory tradition of ignoring the needs of Wales, he will never be forgiven.”
By Paul Clarke