Thursday, June 10, 2010


Rumours reach me of major changes at the top of the Department of Economy and Transport.

It would seem that Sharon Linnard, who is de facto “chief executive” of economic development, is being moved sideways to a post within the health portfolio.

Given that there is a general admittance that the economic development department in Wales has, at best, been stuttering to perform properly, is this finally an admittance, by the Minister that things need to change drastically prior to the publication of his ‘economic renewal programme’?

Given that many in the business world in Wales have been highly critical of the way that business support has evolved into a bureaucratic nightmare since the WDA was abolished, one has to ask why it has taken the Minister so long to make these changes?

The question, of course, is whom the Minister will choose to replace Ms Linnard?

If he was really bold, he would go out to general advert and try and attract the best person in the field of economic development. With the regional development agencies under threat in England, I am sure there would be plenty of suitably qualified candidates.

However, with no money left for recruitment and given that “safety first” seems more of a middle name to the Minister than “Wyn”, I fully expect that it will be one of the existing DE&T staff who will be promoted to the post, although given the less than stellar performance by the department during a recession, is that the sort of person that Wales needs to lead the economy into growth during the next few years?