Showing posts from June, 2010


Posted on This is My Truth on 23 June The South Wales Argus reports that £500,000 of regeneration funding from WAG is to be spent on a 'new salt storage centre' The building at Waun-y-Pound in Ebbw Vale will able to store 10,000 tonnes of salt and cost £500,000 to construct. Councils in the Heads of the Valleys area, which includes Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil, will share the building to store supplies of salt. The authorities realised they needed additional storage for salt during the winter - when highways departments found themselves short of stock during long periods of ice and snow. Some councils in Gwent were down to just a couple of hundred tonnes of salt in the bad weather in January and gritting teams worked round the clock to ensure road networks were safe. Funding for the project has been secured through a £500,000 grant from the Heads of the Valleys Programme. The programme is a 15-year regeneration project which aims to

Don't look away now

Posted on This is My Truth on 14 June There's been discussion on this blog before on the rising price of oil. But it is a fast moving debate. In the last few weeks Lloyds of London have warned businesses of a global oil supply crunch and price spike. Cheap oil has underpinned a whole range of economic activity in the past and that is coming to an end. So too is the food supply chain we've become used to. Lloyds warn that increasing transport costs will make the availability of some imported foods in supermarkets uneconomic, and the whole 'just in time' supply chain model may need to be re-thought. Sceptics of the 'peak oil' debate had a further blow when the conservative statistics arm of the US Department of Energy published its International Energy Outlook for 2010. Its previously rosy forecasts of future oil supplies have been replaced by a pessimistic analysis. Peak oil is almost upon us it now says. On top of that Sir David King, who was Blair's Ch

Framing the debate

Published in the Western Mail on 8th June 2010 As the debate over the timing of a referendum on further lawmaking powers for the Assembly intensifies,political expert LEE WATERS looks at the challenges that will inevitably face the ‘Yes’ campaign THE delay to the referendum on further lawmaking powers for the Assembly is a disappointment to some. But it provides an opportunity to assemble an effective Yes campaign and, crucially, to shape its message. While working as a student in the US Congress in Washington DC in the mid 1990s I remember one of President Clinton’s advisers saying that in modern political campaigns the opponents of change have an advantage. As competition for people’s attention becomes fiercer, he said, it is much easier to frighten someone in 60 seconds than it is to inspire them. And that is the difficult task before the Yes campaign. In the midst of a recession and an anti-politics mood, how can we motivate people about what is essentially a fairly narrow and tech