Wednesday, 15 April 2009

To Fund or Not to Fund?

The Wales Rally GB - one of the most famous legs of the World Rally Championships - faces an uncertain future after the Assembly pulled the plug on £2million pounds' worth of funding. Now the organisers are looking to take legal action against the Assembly claiming that they are breaching a contract that should see them support the event up until 2011.

It is of course a difficult time and budget cuts have to be made somewhere but the interesting point this story makes is how short some political memories are. Two years ago (granted before the proverbial hit the fan) Ieuan Wyn Jones noted the importance of the event to the Welsh automotive industry, an industry which incidentally needs all the help it can get today. And it was only yesterday that Alun Ffred Jones, the heritage minister, noted the importance of sporting tourism, this time golf.

But on the same day deputy skills minister John Griffiths has succumbed to the pressure applied by further education organisations and the other parties. The WAG announced £8.93 million to keep further education colleges and local authority sixth-form provision at or above the same level of funding for 2009/10 as they are for 2008/09.

Here's a victory for direct action and democracy according to some with the Assembly demonstrating its willingness to listen to the voice of the people. But for the Conservatives, apparently more focused on the longer game here's an example of short-termism from the Government.

What would happen, I wonder, if a load of rally cars parked outside the Senedd in protest?

Let us know what you think

Dewi Un

Images used courtesy of jiscinfonet and rednut @Flickr


1 comment:

Natalie said...

If we need the money elsewhere, then let's use it elsewhere. I hadn't realised until now how much money WAG puts into it - surely there's enough money in racing to stage the event, if it's really wanted by fans (tourists?!).

Then again you're not going to catch me supporting idiots in fast cars who drive round the countryside making a mess and polluting the atmosphere!