Local Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, raised environmental issues during the final budget debate at the Assembly earlier this week.
Speaking in the Chamber as Finance Spokesperson for the Welsh Conservatives Nick said: “I am pleased, Minister, that you started your contribution with the issue of flooding and with climate change. I seem to remember I was critical during the draft budget debate that the environment and climate change didn't feature higher up the agenda in terms of the list in your speech. So, you and your office clearly listened to at least one of my points during that debate and made, I think, what was a very good and important change. Putting the climate and environment right up there at the start of the budget is all part of setting a green budget. I think, too often, we talk about the importance of green budgeting and making sure that the environment is at the heart of all we do, that's on the label, but it's not actually what happens in practice. So, hopefully, we are turning that corner and all parties realise the importance of putting the environment centre stage.
“A green budget requires green infrastructure, and we desperately need to see more of that infrastructure. You did touch on some of it, and, obviously, the flooding situation has required a close look at infrastructure. Welsh Conservatives believe that we need a network of fast-charging electric points for cars to ensure that everyone is within at least 30 miles of an EV charging station. Those Assembly Members and members of the public, staff here who have electric cars, will know that it's okay to use them at the moment for short journeys, but when you try to use them for anything over a distance or travelling up to mid or north Wales, you really are taking your electric life in your hands in trying to do that. So, I'd like to see more in the budget about how we actually put forward proposals to improve that green infrastructure.
“Under David Melding's proposal, the Welsh Conservatives' White Paper, new houses in Wales would all have electric charging points as well. It's once small change to the legislation, but it's something that in the longer term can really make a difference on the ground.”