PRODUCING meat would treble in cost if subsidies for farmers didn’t exist, a Powys councillor has said.

Powys County Council's full meeting on Thursday, March 7, saw councillors debate a motion by Conservative Cllr Lucy Robert, which was amended to call on the Welsh Government to renew engagement with unions and the agricultural sector one "serious amendments" had been made to the Sustainable Farming Scheme.

The scheme has stoked much anger in Powys and throughout Wales and has seen farmers take to the streets and steps of the Senedd in protest.

Independent councillor and farmer, Cllr Edwin Roderick said: “The scheme is not fit for purpose.

“It has been drawn up by people with no knowledge of agriculture, no knowledge of cefn gwlad (countryside) and no knowledge of the culture.”


He believed that people don’t understand why farmers receive subsidies which was brought in by the 1947 Agriculture Act under Clement Attlee’s Labour Government which also founded the National Health Service.

Cllr Roderick said: “The purpose at the time was to produce cheap food for people after the Second World War.

“Many farmers might say take the subsidy from us.

“But let’s remember one thing, when we receive £100 today for a lamb, without that subsidy, it would be £300.

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“And then could the consumer afford to buy that meat?”

Liberal Democrat Cllr Angela Davies, who is a farmer, said the scheme had been “misrepresented”, and said those who had spoken in favour have been subjected to “abuse and intimidation”.

Cllr Davies said: “Not all farmers are against the proposals there are a number of issues that need clarity, we need to know all the final detail.

“I feel the motion is a little premature and I look forward to hearing the (consultation) responses and the detail on how Welsh Government propose to take this forward.”

County Times: Cllr Angela DaviesCllr Angela Davies

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Adam Kinnerley said that the debate should not be “environmentalists versus farmers”.

Cllr Kinnerley said: “We as PCC have little influence over the national government funds and how they are deployed, or the management of land which is in the hands of large private landowning community by and large."

He argued that the council itself needed to engage with the farming community around what the “future of farming” looks like in Powys.

Deputy council leader and Labour group leader, Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “We’re all touched by farming in some shape or form and we’re really lucky here to have really good quality farming products.

“Having listened to the debate I will vote for the motion as it’s important that we’re united as a council on this issue.”

County Times: Cllr Aled DaviesCllr Aled Davies

Earlier in the debate, farmer and Conservative group leader, Cllr Aled Davies paid tribute to the farming unions for “clear and strong” leadership on the issue, including Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Huws Gruffydd MS and farmer and social media influencer Gareth Wyn Jones.

At the meeting 29 of the 68 Powys councillors had to declare an interest due to links to farming, but they, meaning they joined the debate but could not vote on the motion.

The motion was approved with 28 councillors voting in favour, one against and four abstentions.

The consultation ended on March 7.