National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee - National Infrastructure Commission for Wales inquiry


•             What the role, remit and objectives of the Commission should be;

The role should include a strategic view of housing and although we understand that the commission could not look in detail at specific site allocations, we do consider that an understanding of where there is the greatest housing need, where housing growth is proposed, and the constraints imposed by current infrastructure on the delivery of Housing would be of benefit to the Commission.

•             How the Commission should operate, and what methodologies it should adopt for conducting its work;

The Commission should be an open and engaging as possible will all sectors involved in the delivery of infrastructure projects.  Key Stakeholders should be identified for each major infrastructure project and form part of any consultation exercise/working group.

•             How the Commission should be governed and funded to ensure its independence from the Welsh Government;

Although we are unable to offer a solution to this issue it is a critical one that needs to be resolved if the work is to have any status.  We are sure that there must be examples from elsewhere of good and bad practise.

•             Examples of UK and international best practice that the Commission could learn from;

•             How the work of the Commission should incorporate the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015;

•             How and to what extent the work of the Commission should influence Welsh Government decision making and prioritisation of infrastructure projects;

This will depend on the way the Commission is set up and operates and also the stage its work is at when a decision has to be made on particular issue.  Also a number of the likely infrastructure projects which will feature in the work rely on decisions made by the UK Government.  Therefore the status of the work in relation to the UK decisions also needs to be considered and set out.

•             How the work of the Commission should interact with regional infrastructure priorities and City/Growth Deals; and

The need for the work of the Commission to interact with regional infrastructure priorities and city/growth deals is consider critical to the success of infrastructure delivery in Wales.  Currently the Cardiff City deal is in the progress of being finalised and covers 10 of the LPA’s in SE Wales, further a City Deal is also understood to be being progressed for North Wales and for the Swansea area.  To date the work of Cardiff City Deal has appeared to be taking place behind closed doors and one issue that the Commission could consider is the need for City Deals to progress in an open and transparent manner with early engagement with key stakeholders.

•             What relationship the Commission should have with the UK Government’s Commission on cross-border issues and infrastructure in areas that are partially devolved.

Again cross boarder issues are critical in both SE and NE Wales, (M4 and A55 corridors) as both areas are likely to see significant economic and housing growth and therefore are areas where upgraded/new infrastructure will be required to service and allow this growth to take place.  Physical Infrastructure takes no account of boundaries so systems must be put in place to ensure consistency in approach across boundaries for infrastructure provision to be successful.