Wednesday, July 7, 2010


People often ask why I bother writing this blog, given that the audience it reaches is very small.

Well, apart from the fact that it gives me ideas for my two weekly columns in the Daily Post and the Western Mail, it hopefully enables those who are interested in some of the issues surrounding the Welsh economy to also comment on current issues of note.

One such comment was posted on the article regarding the new Economic Renewal Programme launched by WAG on Monday.

Whoever has posted this comment obviously has thought through his concerns carefully. More importantly, this demonstrates an enormous hole in the entire process behind the ERP.

As the commentator notes:

Another problem is that the lack of consultation.

WAG like to say that they have have the biggest consultation excersise, but this is a front. The reasons why:

1) The consultation document did not ask for specific policy questions regarding the re-organisation of the DE&T. I'm shocked to see the changes after reading the inital consultation document. The ERP answers questions that were simply not asked in the consultation process.

2) For such big changes within the department, why wasn't there an on-going dialogue with the major players? One consultation response is not enough for such a major restructure. I dont think that the business community expected such changes, and this is poor engagement. Quality not quantity of consultation is the key.

3) The ERP as it stands now should be going out to consultation. There is no formal way to respond, and no period of consultation. Such major change, such as scrapping FS4B, IBW, SIF, should go out to consultation.

4) Where was the consultation when choosing the sectors? The ministerial advisory group seems to work in a silo away from the other players. Where was the engagement with the wider business community when choosing the sectors which will benefit from the ERP.

5) Does the wider business community suppport the new strategy?

6) Where are the details so we can debate the document and reply?

7) Is there a detailed list of what will and won't be changed in DE&T?

the list could go on...

Indeed this is only pointing out some of the failings in the consultation process. As I said, for changes so vast to the DE&T, just to offer a consultation document and no real further engagement is a shambles and a kick in the teeth for all those businesses who will be hit.

One consultation document does not make up for the changes that are being made.

I have not got the time to write further or I would comment on the actual document itself.

My main point is this.....SMEs are ignored.

To take support away from supporting SMEs is shocking. They new approach from WAG is to support big business and hope they drag indigenous Welsh businesses with them. Making larger companies the driver in Wales when they only account for less than 1% of businesses here.

It looks like to me that the CBI have a special hotline to IWJ. Maybe he's scared of David Rosser?!

I don't agree with you, Dylan, very often...but I totally agree with you this time. Well done DE&T for ignoring 99% of businesses in Wales.

I couldn't agree more and one can only hope that someone within the Assembly will take up these points to stop us sleepwalking into economic disaster.