New plans that will improve infrastructure in Wales over the next 30 years and beyond have been outlined today by Economy Secretary, Ken Skates.
The Economy Secretary has set out his plans to establish a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales that will provide advice, analysis and recommendations on Wales’ longer term strategic infrastructure needs.
The new Commission is intended to inform and strengthen decision making around major projects in Wales and create the right conditions for stable and long-term investment.
Once up and running it will provide technical expert advice on decisions around all economic and environmental infrastructure in Wales including energy, transport, water and sewerage, drainage, digital communications and flood management.
Speaking about the establishment of the Commission, Ken Skates said:
“The range and quality of a country’s infrastructure is fundamental to the wider well being of its people, which is why I am determined to ensure that Wales has the necessary physical systems and services in place to enable it to work effectively.
“Indeed in the current climate of financial uncertainty it is more important than ever that we seek to strengthen how we consider and prioritise Wales’ infrastructure needs.
“Our establishment of the National Infrastructure Commission will move us towards a better informed, longer term strategy for infrastructure investment which supports the principles of our Well-Being of Future Generations Act.
“It will provide us with independent, expert and strategic advice on our infrastructure decision making and importantly, will also help us to ensure the best long term value for Welsh public money.”
In its consultation document “A National Infrastructure Commission for Wales” the Welsh Government says it wants the Commission to be up and running in the next 12 months.
It also calls on interested parties to provide their views on how the Commission should operate by 9 January 2017.
The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales will publish an annual report on its work as well as undertake individual commissioned projects. It will also work alongside the UK Infrastructure Commission where responsibilities interact.
The Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan would continue to be set by the Welsh Government, informed by the work of the new Commission.
Establishing a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales is a Programme for Government commitment.