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Plaid Cymru demands control over Welsh water

10/04/2022

Plaid Cymru has repeated calls for control over Welsh resources as Severn Trent aims to strike a deal with Anglian Water over supplying the drought-hit South-west. Plaid Cymru Economy spokesperson, Alun Ffred Jones AM, said that the potential of Wales’s natural resources needs to be harnessed for the benefit of the people of Wales. He added that it was ironic that a private company could profit from Wales’s water but that the people of Wales could not.

The Severn Trent water company, which gets 50% of its supply from Wales, will aim to sell 30 million litres per day to Anglian Water - a deal that would not be possible without the water from Wales.

This development comes less than two weeks after it was announced as part of the Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill in the House of Lords that Welsh taxpayers will be paying to reduce water-rates in South-west England and towards the construction of a £4.1 billion project to improve sewerage services in London.

Plaid Cymru’s economy spokesperson, Alun Ffred Jones AM said:

"It is ironic that a company like Severn Trent is in a position to make a profit from Wales’s water, but the people of Wales cannot. This is our water and we should be able to make the most of it. This resource will be of great economic and strategic importance and the people of Wales should be able to maximise its potential.

"Plaid Cymru has always campaigned for full powers over Welsh water resources to be held here in Wales so that we can make the most of all our natural resources in a sustainable yet profitable manner.

The potential of Wales’ natural resources should be harnessed for the benefit of the people of Wales and that it is the Welsh government that is best placed to ensure that this happens. Labour has always resisted these calls and, back in 2006, insisted on including a clause in the Government of Wales Act to retain ultimate control over water resources in Westminster, effectively tying our hands behind our backs.  

"Recent events highlight the need to devolve full powers over water resources to Wales.  Bringing Wales’ natural resources under Welsh control would allow us to benefit in the same way that other nations benefit from their resources. In Plaid Cymru’s evidence to the Silk Commission we have called for the transfer of responsibilities for our natural resources including water."