The Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme – statement attached – is “welcome” but cannot undo 18 years of “neglect”, an AM has said.

Responding to the Cabinet Secretary’s statement, Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary and Deputy Leader, Paul Davies AM, said:

“While this investment is welcome, it cannot undo the harm inflicted upon Wales’ rural communities by the Welsh Labour Government’s longstanding policy of neglect.

“A historical lack of funding or political focus on Wales’ countryside has led to farmers’ wages reaching record lows, a growing number of herds disappearing from the landscape, and schools closing down at a disproportionate rate to their urban equivalents.

“What rural communities need now isn’t just money; it’s greater powers to solve issues that are unique to their locality; a lasting solution to the enduring ruin of bovine TB; and support for young farmers to ensure that Wales’ farming economy has a sustainable future.”

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