Liberal Democrats across Wales have expressed grave concerns that proposed blanket water pollution measures will cause serious damage to our local farming communities.
The Party has condemned the heavy-handed and uniform policy being debated by Senedd Members today. If approved it will apply to all farms and farmers regardless of their size and the impact of their farming practices, which the Party says will hit small family farms the hardest.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are urging for a delay in the implementation of these measures while evidence is re-evaluated. The Party is also calling for funding to be increased to Natural Resources Wales immediately for an extensive monitoring programme of water quality throughout the country, including around all treatment works and sewage outlets.
William Powell, Agriculture Spokesperson and Senedd Candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“River pollution in Wales and across the UK absolutely needs to be tackled.
“However, I share the frustration expressed by NFU Cymru and FUW leaders that the Minister has decided to launch such a fundamental initiative in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, when she promised 11 times not to do so.
“I also agree strongly with the view expressed by NFU Cymru President John Davies that this issue needs a partnership approach and one that extends beyond party divides.”
Mark Williams former Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion and Rural Affairs spokesperson added:
“To embark on this initiative as we still grapple we a Covid-19 pandemic, and in the wake of the concerning implications of Brexit, is foolhardy at best.
“There is real concern and anger in the farming community across Wales, and once again, a view that genuine concerns have been ignored. We fervently believe in the principle that the polluter should indeed pay, and the sector must have the resources to deal with this, but Labour's ‘cut and paste’ approach in these regulations is not the focused and nuanced approach that is required."
The Party proposes an eight-point plan to tackle water pollution is available here.