Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:53 pm on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Ian Lucas Ian Lucas Labour, Wrexham 4:53 pm, 8th March 2017

I cannot give way; I have very little time.

In the 1970s, an excellent public transport system, the Tyne and Wear Metro, was built on Tyneside. That is what we need in north-east Wales. It was created by the Tyne and Weir passenger transport executive. Mrs Thatcher abolished that body because it was successful, and because it was a threat to her centralisation programme, which was a massive step. Not only was the private sector centralised; the public sector was centralised as well. What we need to see in this country is a radical change. We need to get away from the small-scale tinkering that took place today, and start investing in our local economy.

Let me end by mentioning a company in Wrexham called Dee Valley Water, It was doing an excellent job in Wrexham and Chester, but I am afraid that in the last three months, against the wishes of its own workforce and against the wishes of local people, it has been taken over by Severn Trent, which will now provide monopoly water services in our area. I cannot remember exactly what Severn Trent pays its chief executive, but it is either £2.4 million or £2.6 million, and we, the people who pay for water in the area, have to contribute to that sum. This was done over our heads: we had no say.

We need a change in the corporate governance system relating to businesses so that such obscenities end. We need the devolution of powers to local communities, which have been waiting for far too long. We have had centralisation under both Governments. The horrors of the 1980s need to be swept away, so that we can make real progress for our people.