Labour clueless on rural economy

Plaid Cymru politicians have blasted the decision by the Labour Welsh Government to exclude the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) from the new Rural Development Advisory Board the government has just appointed.

Carmarthenshire politician Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said he failed to see how the Welsh government intends to strengthen farming if has chosen to ignore two significantly large farming unions who between them represent thousands of farmers.
His constituency colleague, Jonathan Edwards MP, said the Deputy Minister has ignored one of the largest industries in the rural economy.

The Welsh Government press release says:

“Group members will look at the most effective way the Welsh Government can use the RDP to protect the environment, promote and support rural communities and strengthen rural businesses and Welsh farming. All this with a view to generating rural sustainability and prosperity, by creating and preserving jobs and opportunities for the people of rural Wales.”

Commenting on the Welsh Government’s appointments, Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“Some of the main aims of the Welsh government’s new rural development advisory board are supposedly to support rural communities and strengthen farming. It’s fascinating that the Welsh government thinks it can strengthen farming when it has taken a conscious decision to exclude two significantly large farming unions who between them represent thousands of workers in the industry.

“Plaid Cymru appreciates that the wider rural economy is not reliant on farming alone. But given the decision of the Welsh government to snub Wales’ farming unions, it shows how clueless the Labour party is on this issue.”

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“Not only did the Welsh government take a backwards step in demoting the new Minister to a Deputy level and subsequently removed the voice of rural affairs from the Government Cabinet, that Deputy Minister has now announced a advisory board which ignores one of the largest industries in the rural economy.

“Whilst the Welsh government takes the first important step of creating a new rural development plan, its work is already tarnished by the deputy Minister’s decision to disregard the opinions of our farmers.”

ENDS

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