Plaid MP comments on new Agriculture Minister appointment

‘Danger that agriculture and west Wales economy will be side-lined’

Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards has expressed concern for the west Wales economy and agricultural industry after the First Minister of Wales downgraded the agricultural portfolio in his government.

The Labour Welsh Government’s Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies AM, was sacked this week (8th July) forcing the First Minister to reshuffle his Cabinet. The farming portfolio will be added to the already heavy workload of the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, whilst a new post will be created at a Deputy Minister level for Agriculture and Fisheries.

Carmarthenshire MP Mr Edwards said the move by the First Minister has the potential to side line efforts needed to grow the Welsh economy, and jeopardises the voice of the agricultural industry in government.

His party’s economy spokesperson in Westminster, Mr Edwards said the Welsh economy was too fragile for the minister to take her eye off the ball. Similarly, he said, the agricultural industry needed its own seat at the heart of government.

The Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr said:

“A new Deputy Minister with responsibility for farming offers an opportunity to build bridges with the industry. I wish the new Deputy Minister well, and hope she will approach her portfolio with a spirit of cooperation and not the spirit of antagonism that characterised her predecessor.

“In saying that, I do believe the First Minister has taken a backwards step with this appointment.

“A Deputy Minister is not a member of the Welsh Government’s Cabinet. Agriculture is a significantly important industry in Wales but will not have the voice at the heart of government which it absolutely needs.

“The Economy Minister who has had farming added to her role must have the largest portfolio of responsibility of any government minister in the western world. She is now the Minister for the Economy, Science, Transport, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food!

“With such a large portfolio there is a danger that the important attention needed to grow our fragile economy will be sidelined. The Welsh economy cannot afford for the Minister to take her eye off the ball.

“As I said, I wish the new Deputy Minister well, but I’m afraid the voice of the agricultural industry has been jeopardised by this decision.”

ENDS

2 Responses to “Plaid MP comments on new Agriculture Minister appointment” [latest first]

  1. I am interested to see the comment on the “danger of Welsh Agriculture being sidelined “as I think they have long taken their eyes off the ball .Take notice of how many of our green belt agricultural land has been earmarked for Solar Parks .The reason given “green belt is cheaper for the developer ” Well ,hey so what these fat cats are making millions along side the farmer who is well rewarded at the expense of our grazing land .We have a company interested in a 70 acre site in Llanelli and the tenant farmer has informed me that if it gets passed he will have to sell his herd of cattle .So what happens led dairy and we will be buying it in from other countries It is about time the Welsh assembly wake up and protect our agricultural land and stop banging on about targets renuable

  2. I am interested to see the comment on the “danger of Welsh Agriculture being sidelined “as I think they have long taken their eyes off the ball .Take notice of how many of our green belt agricultural land has been earmarked for Solar Parks .The reason given “green belt is cheaper for the developer ” Well ,hey so what these fat cats are making millions along side the farmer who is well rewarded at the expense of our grazing land .We have a company interested in a 70 acre site in Llanelli and the tenant farmer has informed me that if it gets passed he will have to sell his herd of cattle .So what happens led dairy and we will be buying it in from other countries It is about time the Welsh assembly wake up and protect our agricultural land and stop banging on about targets renewable energy .We all know we need Renewable energy to grow so what about brown sites or industrial roof sites .The assembly need to act now before more of our precious land is covered by these panels for 20 to 40 years .These companies like to say that livestock can get under these panels ,sheep May but not any cow that I have seen would fit under one .So take note new Agricultural Minister do something now .

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