HC Deb 21 June 1993 vol 227 c6
4. Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received concerning agri-environmental policy in Wales.

Sir Wyn Roberts

We have received 54 responses to the consultation papers entitled "Agriculture and Wales's Environment".

Mr. Dafis

I am sure that the Minister recognises that an agri-environmental programme supports agriculture at reduced costs, provides more jobs and strengthens the rural economy. But if that is to be brought about, we need to move away from the kind of non-zonal approach advocated by the Welsh Office to the type of integration of the programmes that we have under the ESA and the Tir Cymen approach. That must be on an all-Wales basis, rather than available to some parts of Wales only.

Does the Minister agree that we do not want the privatisation of Forest Enterprise, which would threaten the valuable environmental work that is being done and public access to the countryside of Wales?

Sir Wyn Roberts

I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman understands our policy on agri-environmental developments. We intend to work through the environmentally sensitive areas, and the hon. Gentleman may know that Ynys Môn and Radnor have been declared ESAs. New ESAs, at preseli and the Clywdian range, will be designated in August, and other measures will be announced before the end of the year. We are already working along the lines that the hon. Gentleman suggests.