Le­gal ad­vice sought on race­track re­ports

Western Mail - - NEWS - Mar­tin Ship­ton Chief Re­porter mar­tin.ship­ton@waleson­line.co.uk

THE Welsh Gov­ern­ment is un­der­stood to be seek­ing le­gal ad­vice about whether “fit and proper per­son” tests on those be­hind the Cir­cuit of Wales project could be pub­lished with­out the con­sent of those in­volved.

Ken Skates, the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Econ­omy and In­fra­struc­ture, con­firmed to AMs dur­ing a Senedd ple­nary ses­sion that none of the project’s di­rec­tors was pre­pared to grant per­mis­sion for the re­ports to be re­leased.

In June the Welsh Cab­i­net de­cided against pro­vid­ing a £210m loan guar­an­tee to the Cir­cuit, a £433m project to build a motorsport race­track above Ebbw Vale.

Last week the Welsh Gov­ern­ment pub­lished four due dili­gence re­ports on the project, show­ing that 26 key risks had been iden­ti­fied, in­clud­ing one that it could de­fault on loan re­pay­ments after two years.

The “fit and proper per­son” tests on com­pany di­rec­tors as­so­ci­ated with the project were not pub­lished. It is un­der­stood the di­rec­tors have ob­jected to their pub­li­ca­tion.

A Welsh Gov­ern­ment source said le­gal ad­vice was be­ing sought on pub­lish­ing the re­ports with­out con­sent. The source said: “Any­one want­ing the tax­payer to guar­an­tee mil­lions of pounds on their abil­ity to de­liver a project should be will­ing to let the tax­payer have ac­cess to such information.”

Mon­mouth Con­ser­va­tive MP David Davies, who is op­posed to fur­ther public fi­nanc­ing of the project, said: “Given that more than £9m of public funds have al­ready been given to the Cir­cuit of Wales, these ‘fit and proper per­son’ re­ports should be pub­lished. I have sub­mit­ted a Free­dom of Information re­quest to the Welsh Gov­ern­ment ask­ing for the re­ports to be dis­closed.”

Jonathan Coad, the solic­i­tor who rep­re­sents Mr Car­rick and the Cir­cuit of Wales, said: “We have no com­ment to make.”

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