Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Border Squabbles

Mar 2 2009 by Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post

Welsh children are populating English classrooms, Welsh badgers are infecting English cattle and Welsh water is flooding English towns, according to a Midlands MP.

Daniel Kawczynski (Con Shrewsbury and Atcham) called for greater co-operation between England and Wales as he set out a litany of complaints about Welsh devolution in the House of Commons.

The problems were caused by the autonomous Welsh administration, with its own assembly, which paid little regard to the effects of its policies on England, he said.

It meant constituencies which border Wales, such as his Shropshire seat, suffered.

Mr Kawczynski was speaking during a Commons debate on Welsh affairs, in which he was the only English MP to make a speech.

He warned: “The Welsh Assembly creates huge difficulties for English border towns.”

Mr Kawczynski said Shrewsbury and other towns in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire suffered regular floods – which could be prevented if Wales acted.

“The way to resolve the problem is not to have little barriers in each town, but to have a wet washland scheme at the source of the River Severn, across the border in Wales, which would flood a large piece of agricultural land, which would become a marsh in the summer, encouraging wildlife, and a lake in winter.”

He went on to complain that the Welsh Assembly was giving grants to businesses which had encouraged some to leave Shropshire and relocate across the border.

“Those grants are uncompetitive and unfair. They lead to many Shropshire firms going just across the border to set up business, leading to significant job losses in Shropshire.”

He pointed out that England had to kill 40,000 cows last year as a result of Bovine TB, which some experts believe is spread by badgers.

Mr Kawczynski welcomed a decision by the Welsh Assembly to hold trial badger culls, but added: “It is just a shame that there is not more co-operation between our Parliament in London and the Welsh Assembly over the issue, which transcends our borders. There should be far more assimilation and co-operation in dealing with such major issues.”

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital lost around £2 million a year because it was obliged to treat Welsh patients who crossed the border for treatment, but the Welsh Assembly did not pay the full rate for their treatment, he said.

He continued: “Finally, a lot of Welsh children come across the border to go to schools in my constituency.

Wayne David, Secretary of State for Wales, said: “It is very important that we recognise that Wales is not separate from England and that the cross-border links between our two countries are very important.”

Is the answer for Shrewsbury, Oswestry and similar border towns to join Wales
just as popular opinion in Berwick would opt for union with Scotland?


Mark said...

“Finally, a lot of Welsh children come across the border to go to schools in my constituency.

That should be children born in Wales, going to school in England. I was born and live in Oswestry, I am Welsh and i went to school in Oswestry. If i was younger and was still in School, would that be directed at me?

There are a few points i would like to make, point one, the 'border' between England and Wales, who decided upon this arrangement?

Point two, when is someone Welsh and when is someone English? Or Polish?

Point 3. how many immigrant children are currently educated in the UK? Maybe he doesn't count polish children currently in our classrooms because he is of Polish ancestry.

Point 4. How many immigrant births are there in all English hospitals not just the Royal Shrewsbury?

I find this 'speech' offensive.

I would like to say that i am not being "anti English, i have some English ancestry, my partner has also, our child is due to be born and they obviously will have English ancestry.

I am being anti England, people's attitude's like this MP offend me, and i think they need to change.

Renovationist said...

Monmouthshire should clearly be returned to England.

alanindyfed said...

Monmouthshire was never England and never will be. There is no disputing it.