Cardiff Bay Development Corporation

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th March 1997.

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Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig , Islwyn 12:00 am, 17th March 1997

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he last met the board of Cardiff Bay development corporation. [18828]

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

My right hon. Friend and I have regular meetings with the chairman and my right hon. Friend last met the board in May 1996.

Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig , Islwyn

Is the Minister aware of the remarks made by his right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood), who recently described quangos as being logo manufacturers and gatherers of knighthoods? I cannot think in what context that comment would apply in Cardiff bay. Does the Minister agree with the Secretary of State that decisions are best taken by people elected to office and not by people appointed to quangos who meet in secret behind closed doors?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

From his time in the Welsh Office and since, I know that my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) and I share similar approaches towards quangos. I find the hon. Gentleman's remarks somewhat odd as he is a Johnny-come-lately into Welsh politics who has been saddled with trying to breathe life into the corpse of a Welsh Assembly. He is the proponent of the arch quango.

Photo of Mr Irvine Patnick Mr Irvine Patnick , Sheffield, Hallam

Does my hon. Friend agree that all development corporations have brought investment and work into their areas? Is not the Cardiff Bay development corporation an example of the good things that the Conservatives have done, despite opposition from the Labour party?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

My hon. Friend is right; he points to the reality of the situation. We have lame acceptances from Labour Members that any fall in unemployment is welcome. We get equally lame acceptances of any new announcement. The Cardiff bay redevelopment is confidently expected to generate 29,000 jobs in the capital city of Wales and throughout south Wales. Who were the stoutest opponents of the scheme? They were Welsh Members sitting on the Labour Front Bench.