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THATCHER OPPOSITION TO CARDIFF BARRAGE BEATEN BY THREAT TO QUIT

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A BBC Wales investigation has revealed the Cardiff Bay Barrage project was almost killed off by opposition from Mar...
A BBC Wales investigation has revealed the Cardiff Bay Barrage project was almost killed off by opposition from Margaret Thatcher and treasury economists, reports BBC Radio Wales.

The Week In, Week Out television programme tonight tells how the scheme only went ahead after the Welsh secretary at the time, Nicholas Edwards, threatened to resign.

The barrage scheme was opposed by environmentalists and the main argument put forward by its proponents was the economic boost it would bring to the Cardiff area. But treasury officials objected to the arguments put forward and were concerned about the economic methodology used.

The programme says in the end the decision to go ahead was a political decision, not an economic one. In 1990 a select committee, which had been unable to examine all economic details it wanted, voted three to one in favour. Prime minister Thatcher, however, wanted to scrap the barrage proposal but Nicholas Edwards, who is interviewed in tonight's programme, pushed it through Cabinet committee by threatening to resign.
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