Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Welsh Tories appear to be right on this.

Only a few days ago I thought that the Welsh Tories Welsh Tories criticism that Pay packages for three directors at a television company that received a £4m Welsh Government loan could be seen as another silly season outrage.

It seems that I own them an apology as it has emerged that a
A civil servant went to work for a production firm that received a £4m Welsh Government loan

According to Wales Online 

There are now calls for an investigation into the transfer of the senior official who went first on secondment and then became Bad Wolf's interim chief operating officer

The £4m loan came to light when it emerged that the directors of Bad Wolf had paid themselves £1.8m in their first 18 months , despite making a pre-tax loss of £2.8m.
The senior civil servant, Natasha Hale, held senior roles in the Welsh Government in which she was involved in providing financial support to creative organisations as Head of Creative Industries and later as Deputy Director of Sectors and Business.
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said that she did not have a vote “in any of the associated approvals” when the loan to Bad Wolf was made in 2015.
Natasha was seconded to Bad Wolf from August 2016 to March 31, 2017 to develop the company’s activities across the industry in Wales in order to benefit the wider community.
“Any risks arou“nd conflicts of interest were discussed with relevant officials. The terms of the secondment recognised these and put in place measures to manage potential issues for the period of Natasha’s secondment.”
 Welsh Conservative shadow secretary for culture Suzy Davies wrote: 

“The employee in question held the role of Deputy Director of Sectors and Business between April 2013 and March 2017.“Prior to this the employee held the role of Head of Creative Industries for more than a two-year period.“Given the senior positions previously undertaken by this person in the Welsh Government, there are very reasonable questions to which concerned taxpayers are expecting answers.
“It may well be–and I very much hope this to be the case –that there is no wrong doing of any kind. But in light of the intense media scrutiny recently received by Bad Wolf Ltd, Assembly Members and the public will be seeking assurances that all potential for conflict of interest was properly managed in the individual’s transition from Welsh Government employee to Bad Wolf COO.
“Indeed, it would be helpful if you could make explicit in your response the proper steps Welsh Government employees are expected to take to avoid conflicts of interest, and whether in this case they were satisfactorily adhered to.
“In order to properly satisfy the above concerns, I would urge you to undertake an investigation into this case at your earliest convenience.”
Bad Wolf issued a statement, which said:
 “Bad Wolf received a commercial loan from Welsh Government to bring international television productions to Wales. The company has established its headquarters in South Wales and has already brought in more than £35million in production, fees and investments, with additional funds being brought into the Welsh economy in 2018.”
I share Ms Davies's concern and coming on top of the news that Concerns have been raised after it was revealed a world-famous film studio leased a £5m Welsh Government site for free for two years we really need an investigation into whether such investments even if they are profitable are  the right ones.

Pinewood Studio Wales opened in 2015 but rent was not paid until January.

The Welsh Conservatives said potential job claims were "grossly exaggerated", with figures suggesting fewer than 50 at the site as of March.

The Welsh Government - which set aside £30m for Pinewood projects - said it was proud of its investment.

If a local authority was to to act in a similar manner then I suspect they could well feature in Private Eyes's "Rotten Boroughs".

The Welsh Conservatives should be congratulates for this it may well be that they mistaken in their criticism  but we need to know and consider ourselves whether such projects are being run openly correctly.

Which leaves me with the question "Where are Plaid on this?".

They may well have looked at the evidence and come to the conclusion  that there no case to answer  or that t could be that excessive critic may damage the growing media industry

But they are an opposition party an whilst  don't believe on opposition for the sake of opposition but I suspect scrutiny from Plaid.

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