David Davies, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Monmouth, has called on the Welsh Government to explain what has happened to the billions of pounds handed out to organisations and private companies over the last three years.
Mr Davies submitted a Freedom of Information request to ask for all emails or written correspondence which relate to any decision to award a grant of more than £1million to any company over a three year period. The request was rejected on the basis that too many departments within the Welsh Government award grants and it would be “very time consuming” to locate, retrieve and extract details.
Despite refining his request to just two departments – Economy, Science and Transport and Finance and Government Business – Mr Davies was again turned down.
However, the rejection letter confirmed that an initial scoping exercise of the Welsh Government’s egrant system identified 2,283 grants with a value of £1million or more had been awarded over the last three years.
47 grants of one particular type had been awarded within the Economy, Science and Transport Department.
“Just last week, the Welsh Government announced funding cuts which could see free swimming taken away from children in Monmouthshire,” said Mr Davies.
“The local authority’s budget is already extremely tight this year and now there are further hard decisions to be made. It’s inevitable that users are going to feel the effect of these cuts somewhere.
“Yet the Welsh Government has handed out grants totalling nearly two and a half billion pounds and they can’t even tell me where.
“It’s an absolute disgrace. Where has all the money gone?”
Mr Davies has now asked the Welsh Government for a list of all the organisations and private companies that have received grants of more than £1million from the Economy, Science and Transport and Finance and Government Business Departments.