ORGANISERS OF Plaid Cymru’s meeting in Newtown to discuss the impact of Brexit and how to create a more sustainable Powys were delighted with the turnout.
The room at the Elephant and Castle was packed and included members of political parties from all across the spectrum.
Members of farming unions also came to listen and discuss with Jill Evans MEP the impact of Brexit on rural communities.
Ms Evans and Mid and West Wales AM, Simon Thomas made a presentation on a new agricultural entrants’ scheme secured in last month’s Welsh Government budget.
Mr Thomas, as part of the two-year Budget Agreement, has secured a £6 million commitment for a young farmers’ grant scheme over two years to ensure that new blood enters the farming industry.
The scheme is due to begin in April 2018 and Mr Thomas is expected to discuss it’s form with the Government.
Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, Plaid Cymru and Green group leader on Powys County Council, one of the organisers of the meeting, was delighted with the turnout.
Cllr Vaughan, said: “The meeting was very informative, hard work needs to be done through the winter to be ready to take advantage of the agricultural entrants’ scheme.
“We need to try and get more young farmers in the industry.
“The future of farming is dependent on this.
“One of the ways we can try and rectify this is to discuss how entrants to farming could be able to farm Powys Council’s estate land.”
Simon Thomas AM for Mid and West Wales and Plaid Cymru spokesman on rural affiars, said: “Under the budget deal with the Welsh Government I secured £6m over two years to get a new grant scheme to help young farmers’ get on their feet.
This is a clear signal of Plaid Cymru's commitment to the next generation of farmers and our belief in the industry as one of our nation's building blocks.
“We continued the conversation in Newtown about what people want for a young entrants’ scheme. I was pleased that we had a good turnout and some excellent ideas about the way forward to create a more sustainable Powys.
“Attracting new talent to the farming industry and supporting new enterprises, the new entrants’ scheme will have to chime with long-term food and farming strategies.”
“I was pleased we could also discuss how Plaid Cymru secured £2M for electric car charging in the Welsh budget.
”There is a huge gap in mid Wales for charging infrastructure.”
“I want to see mid, north and rural Wales prioritised for this development.
”Otherwise once again the UK government and the market will abandon us.
”As we have experienced with broadband rollout and provision.”
See full story in the County Times