HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 c325
5. Mrs. Betty Williams (Conwy)

What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales regarding support for the non-livestock sectors of commerce and industry affected by the foot and mouth outbreak in the Conwy constituency. [155496]

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Paul Murphy)

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and the First Minister. In the light of the current position on foot and mouth disease, support for the non-livestock sectors of commerce and industry have of course figured prominently in those discussions. As my hon. Friend knows, on Sunday I visited north Wales with the First Minister, where we met representatives of the tourism industry.

Mrs. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is continuing concern about the limited access to the countryside and crags of north Wales? May I draw his attention to the circumstances of my constituent, Ric Potter? Like many others, he has had to travel to Scotland, where there is greater access. Will my right hon. Friend help us to enable people such as Ric Potter to find work in outdoor pursuits?

Mr. Murphy

As I told the House about 15 minutes ago, it is important that people understand that Wales is still open for business and that the Welsh countryside is not closed down. I know that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister met local authority leaders in Wales yesterday, and I assure my hon. Friend that I shall do the same. I shall also meet the First Minister to ensure that the point that she has raised is addressed.