Plaid Cymru slams UK Government’s continuous attacks on Carmarthenshire and Wales

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards have condemned the Conservatives and Lib Dems for their continuing attacks on public institutions in Carmarthenshire as the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) looks to close the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.

According to Prospect Union, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has submitted closure plans to Secretary of State, Caroline Spellman MP, which will see eight of the current 14 regional centres close.  The loss of laboratories in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth would result in the loss of all regional labs in Wales.

The Plaid Cymru elected members said the potential closures are the latest in a long line of attacks on public institutions in the county and have questioned whether the UK Government will only be content when all public services are withdrawn from Wales.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“If the UK Government follows this closure proposal, it will be another massive blow to Carmarthenshire and the wider rural economy.  The farming industry is dependent on swift analysis from laboratories and we cannot afford the delays that will be caused by sending information further away.

“The closure proposal accepts demand on the laboratory services will not change.  We will therefore see increased workloads at remaining laboratories with outsourcing becoming inevitable.  This is hardly the cost-saving exercise the UK Government is said to be looking for.

“ Once again we are seeing skilled jobs stripped away from our county. As the Welsh Government revisits the decision on bTB eradication, it should fully appreciate the work carried out in our Welsh laboratories.  The Welsh Government must make the strongest representations against the closure of these vital services.” 

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“Another day and yet another potential closure of one of our institutions.  From the downgrading of services at the DVLA and Passport Office, to the closure of Magistrates Courts, HMRC buildings and veterinary labs here in Carmarthenshire, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the UK Government won’t happy until we are stripped of all our public institutions.

“Regional laboratories are crucial for early diagnosis of diseases such as foot and mouth or Bovine TB.  It seems absolutely ludicrous to remove two extremely important centres of excellence out of Wales completely and away from the heart of the rural economy which relies on early diagnosis for its very survival”.

“Despite all the rhetoric of devolving services, the Conservatives and Lib Dems are more vigorously pursuing the same centralist agenda as the last Labour government.  The continuing haemorrhaging of jobs demonstrates the urgent need for Wales to take control of our own services”.

DIWEDD/ENDS 

Plaid Cymru slams UK Government’s continuous attacks on Carmarthenshire and Wales

 

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards have condemned the Conservatives and Lib Dems for their continuing attacks on public institutions in Carmarthenshire as the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) looks to close the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.

According to Prospect Union, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has submitted closure plans to Secretary of State, Caroline Spellman MP, which will see eight of the current 14 regional centres close.  The loss of laboratories in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth would result in the loss of all regional labs in Wales.

The Plaid Cymru elected members said the potential closures are the latest in a long line of attacks on public institutions in the county and have questioned whether the UK Government will only be content when all public services are withdrawn from Wales.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“If the UK Government follows this closure proposal, it will be another massive blow to Carmarthenshire and the wider rural economy.  The farming industry is dependent on swift analysis from laboratories and we cannot afford the delays that will be caused by sending information further away.

“The closure proposal accepts demand on the laboratory services will not change.  We will therefore see increased workloads at remaining laboratories with outsourcing becoming inevitable.  This is hardly the cost-saving exercise the UK Government is said to be looking for.

“ Once again we are seeing skilled jobs stripped away from our county. As the Welsh Government revisits the decision on bTB eradication, it should fully appreciate the work carried out in our Welsh laboratories.  The Welsh Government must make the strongest representations against the closure of these vital services.” 

 

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“Another day and yet another potential closure of one of our institutions.  From the downgrading of services at the DVLA and Passport Office, to the closure of Magistrates Courts, HMRC buildings and veterinary labs here in Carmarthenshire, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the UK Government won’t happy until we are stripped of all our public institutions.

“Regional laboratories are crucial for early diagnosis of diseases such as foot and mouth or Bovine TB.  It seems absolutely ludicrous to remove two extremely important centres of excellence out of Wales completely and away from the heart of the rural economy which relies on early diagnosis for its very survival”.

“Despite all the rhetoric of devolving services, the Conservatives and Lib Dems are more vigorously pursuing the same centralist agenda as the last Labour government.  The continuing haemorrhaging of jobs demonstrates the urgent need for Wales to take control of our own services”.

DIWEDD/ENDS

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