Agricultural Services

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1988.

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Photo of Martyn Jones Martyn Jones , Clwyd South West 12:00 am, 29th February 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has any plans to reorganise his Department's agricultural services, in particular in north and mid Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

No, Sir. I consider existing arrangements to be satisfactory for present purposes.

Photo of Martyn Jones Martyn Jones , Clwyd South West

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. However, I am sure he is aware that to keep the services at their present level—in north Wales at least—he needs to keep the Ruthin office, open. Employees at that office are very concerned about the future, bearing in mind that financial input in new building is needed for that office to remain open and continue to provide a service in its area.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will make inquiries into who has been so enthusiastic in spreading rumours about the closure of the office. There are no plans to close the Ruthin office and it is a great pity that unfounded rumours continue despite the assurances that have been given.

Photo of Mr Richard Livsey Mr Richard Livsey , Brecon and Radnor

Will the Secretary of State ensure that there are sufficient farm management advisers—the number will need to be increased—to tackle the financial crisis in Welsh family farms, and will he make extra provision for marketing schemes in Wales?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

Much can be done on the marketing side. Last Friday I had discussions with the WDA about how we could improve still further the marketing of various products from Wales.