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Disappointment with resilience review report

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resilience reviewFARMERS in Wales will be disappointed by the review into the Resilience of Welsh Farming report launched last week and the minister’s accompanying statement accepting the recommendations.

NFU Cymru believes that both fail to address the cash flow issues currently facing the industry.

Ed Bailey, who stood down as NFU Cymru President last week, speaking at a meeting of Welsh Council said:

“Last week’s farm income figures showed the very real threats facing farmers in Wales now. This review and Alun Davies’ ministerial statement are filled with recommended changes that may well benefit farmers and Welsh agriculture in the medium to long term, but the concern is how can farm incomes be maintained in the short term to allow farmers and their families to then capitalise on the opportunities that may come further down the line from the implementation of the recommendations within the review.

“We are disappointed that this review has not recognised the need to re-introduce a dedicated Less Favoured Area / Area of Natural Constraint (LFA / ANC) scheme as allowed under the EU Rural Development regulations and already exist in the vast majority of countries the length and breadth of Europe.

“Whilst the review proposes the use of a number of potential tools under the next Rural Development Plan (RDP) this review, and the Minister’s response so far, fails to consider the most important tool available to help support and build resilience in upland communities the length and breadth of Wales.

Mr Bailey continued: “The minister, when he made the decision to take 15% of resource out of Pillar 1 and into Pillar 2, stated that under the next RDP there would be targeted support for upland farmers, this to us clearly means a dedicated LFA /ANC scheme delivered under Pillar 2 of the CAP. We have yet to see this from the Minister and feel that this, in our opinion, must be satisfactorily addressed when the Minister launches his consultation on the Wales RDP next month.

“Whilst NFU Cymru is disappointed at the failure so far to address the issue of dedicated upland support, the Union recognises that many of the recommendations have the potential to benefit Welsh agriculture. Recommendations with regards to the Glastir agri environment scheme, for example, mirror many of the changes the Union has long argued for.

Mr Bailey continued: “There are many things in this report which we feel we can welcome, for example the adoption of the proposed contingency management plan. We know full well that the extreme weather in March last year took many by surprise – including farmers, local authorities and the Welsh Government. It is only right that plans are formed to ensure everyone is better placed to deal with such an event in future.

“We can see merit in the development of a sustainable agriculture programme, the objective of which is to improve the financial viability of farm businesses, bringing together Young Entrants Support Scheme, Farming Connect and the Glastir efficiency grant into a single business model. NFU Cymru understands that the programme will look to prioritise the uplands and young/new entrants, but as always the devil will very much be in the detail.

“The report also identifies the upland beef and sheep sector as priority sectors for non-farm diversification and start-up support, whilst at the same time it acknowledges that opportunities for diversification are limited.

“There are numerous excellent examples of farm businesses having successfully diversified and in the process secured valuable additional income streams but the key priority must continue to be on ensuring upland beef and sheep enterprises can be profitable and viable in their own right.”

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Milford Haven: One arrested and two treated for injuries following domestic incident

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A WOMAN was arrested on Thursday following a domestic incident in Milford Haven in which two people were injured.

Police and an ambulance were called to Howarth Close at around lunch time.

Multiple police units responded including armed police.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Following a report of a domestic incident at Howarth Close at around 1pm on Thursday afternoon (Sept 17) , two people were taken to hospital and one female has been arrested.”

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Hakin: Crews put out fire in Observatory Avenue property

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EMERGENCY services were at Observatory Avenue, Hakin, on Wednesday (Sept 16) night responding to a 999 call reporting a domestic fire.

The fire was said to be minor in nature with no injuries reported.

A spokesperson from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said “At 22:21, crews from Milford Haven attended a property fire in Hakin, Milford Haven.

“The cause of fire believed to be related to burnt cooking, which crews isolated and made safe.

“Crews left the scene at 23:08pm”

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Work on new council houses starts in Johnston

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WORK has begun on the first council houses to be built in Pembrokeshire for a generation.

Thirty-three affordable units are being constructed by Pembrokeshire County Council on the site of a former primary school at Cranham Park, Johnston.

They are the first council houses to be built in the County for over 25 years.

Work was held up for a time due to the lock-down but resumed as soon the contractors were able to do so.

The development comprises:

  • 12 one bed flats in three blocks (four flats are identified for assisted living, with communal facilities)
  • seven two-storey two bedroom houses
  • five two-storey three bedroom houses
  • two two-storey four bedroom houses
  • one two-storey five bedroom house
  • four two -bedroom bungalows
  • two bungalows with three or more bedrooms.

The estate also includes parking, open space and associated works.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Michelle Bateman, said it was a red-letter day for the Authority.
“The house-building scheme fulfils a pledge made by the Authority’s Cabinet when it took over the administration of the Council in 2017” she explained.
“I am proud and delighted to say that we are now honouring that pledge.”

Councillor Bateman added that other council house-building schemes were lined up for Tudor Place in Tiers Cross and Charles Street, Milford Haven.
The Houses are being built by WRW Construction Limited. As a result of the Covid-19 interruption there has been a slight delay and construction work is now due to finish in December 2021

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