About David
David is a true native of Port Talbot and continues to live in the constituency. He is married to Marie, a superintendant…
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Labour AMs call for a Moratorium on Open Cast Mining in Wales

Three Labour AMs in South Wales West- David Rees, Gwenda Thomas and Mike Hedges- have today supported the call for a moratorium on Open Cast Mining in Wales. The debate at the Assembly highlighted the many examples where open cast mining has taken place and the local communities have been left with a blight on the landscape and dangers to their health and safety.

They also called for fully funded restoration work to be carried out at both Parc Slip, Margam and East Pit, Cwmllynfell. Since the 1994 transfer of these open cast sites from British Coal, there has been little investment into restoration schemes to ensure that after mining the land can be returned to its natural habitat. The fund for this work is a currently at a fraction of the necessary level required to fully restore the sites and it is important that this is addressed as a matter of urgency.

David Rees AM said: “Mining at the Parc Slip site in Margam ceased in 2008 and we have been left with a huge void and many dangers. The site has been left derelict and as a result the void has filled with water to unacceptable levels which pose a threat to local communities. Restoration has been ignored and these dangers have been left to the public to face on a daily basis. This is something that we cannot allow to continue. Local communities suffer the pollution and the blight, dangers and fears, we need to act now to support our communities.”

Gwenda Thomas AM said: “In Margam, a vast and accidental lake is the problem. In East Pit we are told that it is the solution. The only difference I can see between the two cases is a reinforced eastern wall at the Cwmllynfell end of the site. A wall that will need to hold back tens of thousands of cubic litres of water, and in whose integrity residents will have to place their faith for generation after generation.”

Referring to previous restoration plans, Mrs Thomas added: “The first opencast on this site opened in 1948. We were promised then that, when it was complete, the land would be restored. That promise has been repeated to three generations, it has grown weighty with the years.

Mike Hedges AM added: “Too often open cast leaves parts of Wales looking like the moon. It also discourages new, clean and technological industries relocating in the area. Opencast is not part of the vision I have for 21st century Wales”

David Rees AM supports WWF Cymru Earth Hour Event

On Wednesday 18th March, David Rees, AM for Aberavon, was delighted to attend the WWF Cymru event to show support for Earth Hour 2015. WWF’s Earth Hour is the world’s biggest celebration for our amazing planet, with hundreds of millions of people coming together in a symbolic and spectacular light outs display. During the event, a ‘Planet’ cake was shared to say thank you for helping Wales contribute to moving towards a better planet in 2015, including the passing of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.

WWF sees 2015 as a critical year for tackling sustainability issues, both within Wales and internationally. There are two major international opportunities to help our planet and people before the end of this year. The UN post-2015 international development framework should reinforce the international community’s commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development. This will include a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed in September, 2015.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference aims to develop a global agreement to tackle the causes and impacts of climate change and bring strong international action from 2020.

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill includes embedded action on the developing SDGs. Wales is the first country in the world to have achieved this. The Senedd event was a chance to celebrate what we are doing in Wales towards sustainability, raise awareness of opportunities internationally and our potential contribution to the global decisions in 2015.

Earth Hour itself will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March. This year supporters in Wales are encouraged to mark the hour with a candlelit dinner either at home or in a participating restaurant.

AM and Labour Parliamentary Candidate welcome Tidal Lagoon announcement

David Rees, AM for Aberavon, and Stephen Kinnock, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Aberavon, have today welcomed the Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement on the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon energy project. In his budget speech, the Chancellor confirmed that negotiations on this scheme, which would cost £1 billion and potentially generate enough power to run 120,000 homes for 120 years, have now opened with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.

David said: “This exciting renewable energy project can establish Wales as a leading nation in offshore tidal energy. It also presents an opportunity to the region for further inward investment and to our ports, particularly Port Talbot’s Deepwater Harbour, during the construction phase and possible future construction of similar lagoons. The lagoon will be the doorstep of the new science and engineering campus of Swansea University, which provides the opportunity for collaboration between the academic and research and development worlds.”

Stephen added: “The Tidal Lagoon will be an outstanding example of the benefits of moving to a clean, green energy future. Its construction and operation will create thousands of jobs across the region, deliver clean energy to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, help the UK to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and moreover will demonstrate that we have the know-how to be the global pioneers in this ground-breaking new technology.”