Posts Tagged ‘First Minister Carwyn Jones’

Farmers Are Perhaps Not Best To Run A Business?

06 Jul

Panic not, these are not my words, but words from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths. Follows is a press release from the Welsh Conservative Party, published in full.

I think farmers are perhaps not the best people to run a business” says Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs

Welsh Conservatives are calling for the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs to make an immediate apology following comments made in a plenary debate where she said that farmers are “not the best people to run a business.”

The comments, made by Labour AM Lesley Griffiths on the 22nd of June, are likely to cause a great deal of offence to Wales’ farming community which has 14,000 registered businesses in Wales and generates a £5.7bn annual turnover. They were made in response to a question about the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Plan, which now two years into being has produced limited results, despite promises from the previous Minister for Farming and Food that the plan would have a “transformational” effect on the rural economy.

Speaking inside the Senedd Chamber, Lesley Griffiths AM said:

“We do need to see much more of a transformational change, and we need to do that in partnership with the farmers. I also think we need to look at how we can help them with the sustainability and the resilience of their businesses, and to look at the business side of it, because I think farmers, certainly in my very early discussions with them, are perhaps not the best people to run a business. They haven’t that kind of business perspective…” (22 June 2016)

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said:
“I call on the Cabinet Secretary to make an immediate apology to the farming community of Wales, who will no doubt be taken aback by her comments. Farmers in Wales contribute billions to the Welsh economy – they directly employ 48,000 people and are among the most industrious and entrepreneurial members of our business community. To say that ‘farmers are not the best people to run a business’ is not only highly offensive but calls into question whether she is in fact the right person to take this brief forward. It simply betrays her ignorance of this vital artery of the Welsh economy. I would suggest that the Cabinet Secretary takes some time to reflect on her ill-considered comments and would invite her to meet with a number of my friends who run highly successful farming businesses.”

Well I wonder if Ms Griffiths was ever tried farming for a living? My guess is not. Just as I doubt if she’s tried to run a food or drink business either. It’s easy to stand back and criticise, but when you have no idea at all how tough and stressful a life it is working off the land and producing food and drink, words are easy but in this case tactless and rude. A life often spent battling the elements, battling red tape and battling a government that doesn’t seem to care and certainly doesn’t undestand the problems that are faced on a daily basis by farmers and producers is not helpful.

According to wag’s website Lesley Griffiths, who all of you will be aware is now Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, lists her political interests to include health, economic development, housing and children’s issues. So is she the best person to take on the environment and rural affairs, which of course includes Welsh food and drink? Well not to me it doesn’t, but those choices are not ours, that’s down to the First Minister Carwyn Jones. You might be wondering why Ms. Griffiths is called a Cabinet Secretary not a Minister. Well as I understand it, this change is to follow Westminster and makes me think this is a lot to do with a more powerful title and therefore a bigger salary…………………

Well those are the views of Ms Griffiths, farmers not fit to run a business, so my question to this government is, have we got politicians fit to run our country?

Answers on a postcard please, no sorry, being flip, email me or leave your comments on here.



Minister For Natural Resources & Food Alun Davies Sacked

08 Jul

Minister For Natural Resources & Food Alun Davies has been sacked from the Welsh government after asking officials to provide details of farm subsidies paid to opposition AMs.

Mr Davies was told by his staff that the information was not publicly available, but asked again for it to be provided.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said Mr Davies’ actions were “unacceptable”.

A new Environment Minister will be appointed later today.

The Blaenau Gwent AM apologised in the Senedd last week over a separate row in which he was judged to have broken the Ministerial Code while lobbying for a race track to be built in his constituency.

Mr Jones said in a statement on Tuesday that “communications” between Mr Davies and his civil servants had been brought to his attention.

Mr Jones said: “The emails indicate that the Minister asked the civil service to give him private information about the financial interests of a number of members of this chamber.

“These relate to CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments made to these individuals.”

The requests, Mr Jones said, were “poorly judged, inappropriate and the fact that they were made at all is unacceptable to me as First Minister”.

“As a result, I have asked the Minister For Natural Resources And Food to leave the government.

“I made this decision with some regret and would like to record my appreciation for the contribution that Alun Davies has undoubtedly made to the work of the government during his time in office.”

News piece taken from BBC Wales News website.

Will our Welsh farmers be rejoicing about this news at the forthcoming Royal Welsh Show………………………..?

Latest update:

A new Minister for Natural Resources & Food has not been appointed, instead Mr Davies previous ministerial duties have been divided between other ministers.

Economy and Transport Minister Edwina Hart will look after agriculture, fisheries and food, Sport and Culture Minister John Griffiths has had environment added to his portfolio and Rebecca Evans is promoted from the backbenches to become deputy minister for agriculture and fisheries.


31 Jobs To Go At Proper Welsh Milk Dairy In Whitland

10 Dec

Thanks to one of our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers who made me aware of more bad news in the Welsh food industry. Wag food in case you are interested, this is what is known as communication. The following is taken from the Carmarthenshire Journal and has been forwarded to one of our Assembly Members in case he is not aware:

Dairy Crest has announced that it is starting consultation over the proposed closure of its Proper Welsh Milk dairy in Whitland, which currently employs 31 people.

Proper Welsh Milk was days from closure when Dairy Crest bought the business from the administrators in March this year, with the aim to maintain production and employment and develop new products at the site.

However, the firm says production volumes have fallen short of expectations and significant investment is needed to bring the site up to Dairy Crest standards.

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said he was desperately sad by the proposals.

Mark Allen, chief excutive of Dairy Crest, said: “We are disappointed it has not been possible to make a success of Proper Welsh, but lower sales and higher costs mean it is not possible to operate the site economically. We will do all we can to help employees at the dairy who may be affected by these proposals. We will also work with customers to offer them alternative packing arrangements and ensure there is no disruption to their service. We remain committed to the Welsh dairy sector and are continuing to recruit farmers and invest in milk collection facilities around Carmarthen.”

Mr Hart added: “I am desperately sad that Dairy Crest were unable to make this venture work. The employees have worked incredibly hard and deserve a better outcome than this. I will do anything I can to help them find alternative work in the area and urge them to get in touch.”

It is a major blow for Whitland. The £1.5 million dairy was only officially opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones in November 2011. At the time it was hoped the dairy would process and bottle up to 10 million litres of locally-sourced milk each year.

Speaking at the launch, the First Minister said: “It’s a great pleasure to be here today at the first creamery to open in Wales in 75 years. There’s been a tendency for milk processing to leave Wales so this dairy is very welcome. It’s great to see this facility in Whitland; I well remember the lively conversations that took place with Dairy Crest’s closure. It’s a great vote of confidence in local farming.”

He added: “This new plant is a great step forward for both Carmarthenshire and the Welsh dairy industry. The dairy will safeguard milk outlets for dairy farmers in the surrounding area. This is Welsh milk being produced and bottled here in Wales for Welsh consumers and that has to be good news for all.”

Whitland, once well known for its role in the dairy industry, lost many jobs in the mid-1990s with the closure of the Dairy Crest creamery.


Just In Case You Thought Wag Was Broke

27 Mar

A snippet of news that might be of interest, the

A snippet of news that might be of interest, the Welsh Government has bought Cardiff Airport for £52m from TBI which is a division of Barcelona-based Abertis and runs the airport.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Cardiff Airport is a vital gateway to Wales for business, tourists and general travellers alike. It is essential that its future is secured and that we develop high quality sustainable services. The airport will not be operated by the Welsh Government. It will be managed at arm’s length from government on a commercial basis and, over time, I expect to see a return to the public purse on the investment.”

Lord Rowe-Beddoe will be chairman of the airport board and a chief chief executive will be announced in due course.

Let’s hope that the people put in charge to take on Caridff airport are the best people for the job and they give our First Minister a return for his £52k, interesting that there’s no time scale on when he expects to achieve this. However what also needs thinking about is who is going to fund the running costs of the airport? My other concerns are why did Cardiff lose so many airline carriers, with the obvious loss of much needed revenue? Plus why do so many people living in mid and south Wales use Bristol airport rather than Cardiff?

So it isn’t just the cost of buying Cardiff airport that will give our First Minister an ongoing headache is it?


In Case Of Interest – Here’s The New Cabinet

18 Mar

Press release that has had to be taken off wag’s website:  

On Thursday 14th March, First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced his new cabinet to continue delivering the ambitious Programme for Government, grow the Welsh economy and create a country of opportunity and social justice.

One new Minister has joined the cabinet; academic in the field of social policy and former Chair of the Health Committee, Professor Mark Drakeford has been appointed Health Minister. Former Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has been appointed Minister for Local Government, with responsibility for Government Business.

The First Minister has also created a new refocused Communities and Tackling Poverty portfolio under Huw Lewis, which will renew the Government’s efforts in tackling poverty, creating opportunity for all and mitigating the worst effects of the UK Government’s welfare reform agenda.

Former Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant becomes Minister for Housing and Regeneration; former Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies has been appointed Minister for Natural Resources and Food, while Former Environment Minister John Griffiths becomes Minister for Culture and Sport. Announcing his new cabinet team, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Jobs and growing the Welsh economy remain our number one priority,but we will also work tirelessly to improve the delivery of our public services. My commitment to do everything we can to stand up for the people of Wales, particularly in these challenging times, remains firm. That is why I have created a new portfolio dedicated to improving the lives of the poorest in our country, building strong communities and creating opportunities for all. I am delighted to have such a strong and committed team who share my vision of a strong and vibrant Wales, where everyone has the opportunity for fulfil their potential.”

Welsh Government Cabinet

Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM
First Minister of Wales

Edwina Hart AM OStJ MBE
Minister for Economy, Science and Transport

Prof Mark Drakeford AM
Minister for Health

Huw Lewis AM
Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Lesley Griffiths AM
Minister for Local Government (& Government Business)

Jane Hutt AM
Minister for Finance

John Griffiths AM
Minister for Culture and Sport

Leighton Andrews AM
Minister for Education (& Welsh Language)

Carl Sargeant AM
Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Alun Davies AM
Minister for Natural Resources and Food

Deputy Ministers

Gwenda Thomas AM
Deputy Minister for Social Services

Jeff Cuthbert AM
Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology