William Powell AM calls for greater Welsh Government action on Invasive Non-Native Species

June 13, 2013 4:33 PM

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environment and Sustainable Development, has used this morning's meeting of the Environment and Sustainability Committee to highlight the substantive gaps in the Welsh Government's progress in tackling the threat of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS), and call for further work to address them.

William Powell AM, Mid and West Wales, said:

"INNS constitute a substantial threat to our natural environment and the economic development of many parts of Wales. This is perhaps at its most acute in South West Wales, where communities in the Swansea area are blighted by the presence of Japanese Knot Weed. The consequences in terms of property values, availability of mortgage finance and insurance cover are hard to overstate.

"In my view the whole area of INNS has been very much a Cinderella subject within Welsh Government. Presently, there is only one individual who leads on this policy area.

"I this week's meeting of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, I proposed that the Glastir scheme should be reviewed to include options to counter INNS, and for a closer working partnership between Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and ADAS.

"I also called for greater Welsh Government action on the issue given the potentially devastating consequence of inactivity."

Swansea County Council Group Leader Cllr Chris Holley, Cwmbwrla ward, added:

"Invasive species are one of the biggest problems facing local authorities and individual residents today and cost the UK taxpayer an estimated £1.7 billion annually.

It is difficult to get rid of and the Welsh Government must do more do more to eradicate it."

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