Farmers from Denbigh and Flintshire have met their local Assembly Members to talk about some of the major problems the new bovine TB zones will have on local farm business and stressed the urgent need for high resolution maps.
‘Taking Forward Wales Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’, a title which seems innocuous enough, but hides more than fifty proposals, many of which are highly contentious for a broad range of stakeholders, were discussed with Pembrokeshire Assembly Members recently.
Discussing the consultation at Pembrokeshire county show, FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas said: “The consultation covers areas as diverse as forestry, public access to land and waterways, fishing, drainage, agriculture and wildlife - to name just some, with specific proposals including allowing mountain bikes on all public footpaths, allowing people to camp and play games wherever they want on open access land, reducing the circumstances in which public safety can be protected when trees become rotten and dangerous, and on-the-spot fines for the drivers of cars from which litter is thrown.
Pembrokeshire farmers and Farmers’ Union of Wales officials met with Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths at Pembrokeshire County Show to discuss the NVZ consultation and bovine TB.
FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas said: “We had a very good meeting with the Cabinet Secretary and discussed the timing of an announcement on the NVZ consultation. It was confirmed that a decision would be announced by the end of the year.
“The length of any implementation period was also highlighted as an issue, as the period of time needs to be as long as possible to enable the planning permission system to be able to cope, to ensure the availability of specialist contractors and to take account of the fact that there will be periods of the year when no construction work can take place due to weather conditions.
The Pembrokeshire branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales is once again seeking entries for the counties FUW Countryside Business Award, which will be presented to an individual 40 years of age or under, who has developed their own business based in rural Pembrokeshire.
So if you are business in rural Pembrokeshire, farm in your own right or provide a service to the agricultural sector, run a cake making business, electrical or plumbing services, crafts, music teaching or food processing, then the Pembrokeshire team want to hear from you.
“There are a host of fantastic businesses in rural Pembrokeshire who all do a great job in keeping the wheel of our rural economy turning. With the award we want to recognise the fantastic work our young people are doing to keep the rural areas of Pembrokeshire vibrant and economically active places,” said FUW Pembrokeshire CEO Rebecca Voyle.
To be eligible for the award the individual must be 40 years of age or under on 1 January 2017 and be actively involved in a business based in rural Pembrokeshire. A £200 cash prize, perpetual trophy and a year’s free membership will be awarded to the winner.
“I am really looking forward to receive entries for this award, so if you think your business stands out from the crowd or you know someone who runs a top rural business then get in touch with us to put them forward. But please check with them before sending in the nomination that they are happy for you to do so,” added Rebecca Voyle.
The urgent need for a UK agri summit, which brings all 4 administrations together to discuss constitutional arrangements for the UK in light of Brexit, was reinforced by the Farmers’ Union of Wales at Pembrokeshire County Show.
In a meeting with Stephen Crabb MP and Simon Hart MP, Union officials stressed that a cross Government Agricultural summit is absolutely essential in order to progress the vital constitutional issues that need to be addressed before powers are repatriated from Brussels to London.
#FarmingMatters were hotly debated at the Farmers’ Union of Wales stand at the Vale of Glamorgan Show (Wednesday, 9 August), when Union officials met with a range of local politicians and members.
FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas said: “We enjoyed a successful day here at the Vale of Glamorgan show. It really was a hotspot for #FarmingMatters and we enjoyed catching up with members and highlighting the important role farming plays in our everyday lives.
“During our meetings with local politicians such as Jane Hutt AM, David Melding AM and Andrew RT Davies AM, we also discussed the way forward for agriculture in light of Brexit and reinforced the urgent need for an agricultural summit in order to progress the vital constitutional issues that need to be addressed before EU powers are repatriated from Brussels to London.”
On the day the FUW was also joined by South Wales Police Crime Reduction Tactical Advisor Deborah Elward, who highlighted ideas for farmers to prevent crime on their farm and FUW member David Harris, who has been leading a local action group ‘The Vale Market Community Enterprise Group’ (VMCE) to keep the Cowbridge livestock market open and reinvent the site to improve the market facilities and build a local hub.
FUW Glamorgan CEO Rachel Saunders said: “It was great to have Deborah with us and together we highlighted some of the other options available to farmers to prevent rural crime, other than CCTV.
“We used the opportunity to also tell farmers about the new official Rural Watch Scheme to which they can now sign up to. The scheme will replace the informal texting group that local farmers have been using to warn each other about farm thefts and I hope that many more of our members will sign up.”
The Union has also long been in support of Cowbridge Livestock mart, recognising that the closure of the mart would remove a vital lifeline from the town and also make it necessary for farmers to travel far greater distances to sell their stock.
Rachel Saunders added: “The proposed scheme will produce many benefits to the market site as a whole, including the addition of much needed car parking facilities within the town centre, which will also provide the historical benefit of exposing the Cowbridge town wall which was built in the 13th century. We will certainly continue to support the project and hope that the difficulties the project is facing can be resolved soon.”