Today (6 December) Gwynedd Plaid Cymru Councillors will call for the support of the full Council in urging the Welsh Labour Government to secure a stable environment for farm businesses after Brexit.
“Here in Gwynedd, small family farms are a cornerstone of the county’s rural communities,” said Councillor Paul Rowlinson, “and generations of our people have farmed the land and produced high quality food that is sold to the public.”
“Agriculture is an essential part of Gwynedd’s rural economy and supports many families in the county. Any changes in agriculture that result from Brexit are certain to have a direct impact on the local economy, our rural communities and the Welsh language,” explained Councillor Rowlinson, who will propose a motion asking for the support of the full Council in demanding that the Welsh Government provides stability for farming families in the county.
Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Council Leader, Dyfrig Siencyn has already responded on behalf of Gwynedd Council to the Welsh Labour Government’s consultation paper ‘Brexit and our land’ where he sets out his significant concerns regarding the proposed changes and the adverse impact on the rural economy.
“The Labour Government has completely disregarded the contribution agricultural plays in food production and their proposals could completely transform the whole structure of the rural economy with no attempt to measure the impact of these changes in consultation with the industry.
“These changes could harm the rural community and consequently weaken the Welsh language in its heartland. The response of the Minister, Leslie Griffiths during the consultation, indicates that she is not ready to listen to the clear messages she has received, and again shows that this Labour Government does not have any understanding or empathy towards the people living in rural Wales.”
Siân Gwenllian, the AM for Arfon added: “Many people who live and work in rural parts of Arfon depend on the economy created by agriculture. I support the demand of my colleagues at Plaid Cymru in Gwynedd and I will continue to put pressure on the Labour politicians in Cardiff.”
Councillor Rowlinson went on: “We are pressing for a guarantee that any support is given to those who actually work on the land or manage it directly, focussing particularly on small and medium sized family farms and not on large businesses whose links with agriculture are questionable.
“We need to provide ring-fenced money to invest in rural development, particularly to support projects responding to the economic challenges facing rural Wales. If Labour politicians are serious about safeguarding rural communities, this funding should be directed to those areas where the economic impact of peripherality is greatest.
“I will call today for the support of the full Council to urge the Welsh Government to secure a stable environment for rural families who work on and look after the land in Gwynedd and beyond” said Councillor Paul Rowlinson.