Dragon Logo - National Assembly for Wales | Logo Ddraig y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Cofnod y Trafodion
The Record of Proceedings

Y Pwyllgor Newid Hinsawdd, Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee




Agenda’r Cyfarfod
Meeting Agenda

Trawsgrifiadau’r Pwyllgor
Committee Transcripts



4....... Craffu ar Waith Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig: Blaenoriaethau ar gyfer y Pumed Cynulliad
Scrutiny of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs: Priorities for the Fifth Assembly


























Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle y mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.


The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.


Aelodau’r pwyllgor yn bresennol
Committee members in attendance


Jayne Bryant


Sian Gwenllian

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales

Vikki Howells


Huw Irranca-Davies


David Melding

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives

Jenny Rathbone


Mark Reckless

UKIP Cymru (Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor)
UKIP Wales (
Committee Chair)

Simon Thomas

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales

Eraill yn bresennol
Others in attendance


Prys Davies


Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Ynni, Dŵr a Llifogydd, Llywodraeth Cymru
Deputy Director, Energy, Water and Flood, Welsh Government

Dr Christianne Glossop

Prif Swyddog Milfeddygol Cymru
Chief Veterinary Officer

Lesley Griffiths

Aelod Cynulliad (Llafur), Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig
Assembly Member (Labour), Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs

Matthew Quinn

Cyfarwyddwr yr Amgylchedd a Datblygu Cynaliadwy, Llywodraeth Cymru
Director, Environment and Sustainable Development, Welsh Government

Andrew Slade

Cyfarwyddwr, Amaeth, Bwyd a'r Môr, Llywodraeth Cymru
Director, Agriculture, Food and Marine, Welsh Government

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn bresennol
National Assembly for Wales officials in attendance


Alun Davidson



Rhys Morgan

Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Nia Seaton

Y Gwasanaeth Ymchwil
Research Service


Dechreuodd rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod am 11:03.
The public part of the meeting began at


Craffu ar Waith Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig: Blaenoriaethau ar gyfer y Pumed Cynulliad
Scrutiny of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs: Priorities for the Fifth Assembly


[1]          Mark Reckless: I re-open the session. We are now in public session and it’s my pleasure to welcome the Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, to her first session with the new Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee in the fifth Assembly. Minister, it is a pleasure to welcome you. We have received your briefing, some 55 paragraphs, which I’ve enjoyed reviewing. Some of the priorities you’ve set out quite comprehensively for the term. Could I perhaps, before we commence, ask you to introduce your solid team of civil servants that you have with you, so we know who everyone is?


[2]          The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs (Lesley Griffiths): Okay. I’ll ask them to introduce themselves.


[3]          Mr Quinn: Matthew Quinn, I’m director of environment and sustainable development.


[4]          Mr Slade: Andrew Slade, I’m director of agriculture, food and marine.


[5]          Dr Glossop: I’m Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales.


[6]          Mr Davies: Prys Davies, head of decarbonisation and energy.


[7]          Mark Reckless: The way I was planning to run this session, Cabinet Secretary, was to have an initial question to you, perhaps to highlight some of the areas from your written statement. What we’re then looking to do is to have approximately the first hour of the session, which will have a focus on the matters we’re interested in for our post-Brexit agriculture and rural development inquiry. Within that, we’re also likely to touch on the areas of food and marine. The committee, late next week, have a session in west Wales where we’re meeting various producers and interest groups, as well as taking forward the strategic planning for that post-Brexit inquiry. Having done that, I’ll probably then have a 20 or 30-minute remaining part of the session where I’ll ask Members who want to address you on other areas. We’ve split it into 11 different areas, but there’s no way we’re going to have a comprehensive approach in our first hour and a half with you.


[8]          I wonder if I might ask, just to begin, what you really see as the key areas and priorities that you want to achieve during your period as Cabinet Secretary.


[9]          Lesley Griffiths: Okay, thank you. I think, as you noted, it’s a very broad and wide-ranging portfolio, and of course just one month after I came into portfolio we had the European Union referendum, which changed the complexion of a lot of things within the department. And I have to say, certainly over the summer when I was visiting agricultural shows and doing a significant number of farm visits, you can imagine that that was absolutely the main topic of conversation, particularly in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, and to some extent in the environmental sector also. It’s obviously wholly devolved to Wales, so whilst of course there are many challenges, I think—and this is the type of person I am—we have to look at the opportunities, and we’ve done a great deal of work in preparation for what lies ahead.


[10]      In relation to other parts of the portfolio, last term we had three major pieces of legislation that came out of this portfolio, two of which I’m still responsible for, and those are the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and there was the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which now sits in the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government’s portfolio. I think a lot of the legislation will help us again in relation to post Brexit.


[11]      From an animal health and welfare point of view—something I’m personally passionate about—I’ll be refreshing and having a look at the eradication programme. I’ll be making a statement to the Assembly next month, so that’s another priority area.


[12]      The food and drink sector is very dynamic and very important to the economy of Wales. And, again, I want to continue to build on the excellent work that’s been done. I remember being in Cabinet a couple of years ago when the then Minister came forward with what I thought was an extremely ambitious target of reaching £7 billion in this sector by 2020. We’ve already got to £6.1 billion, so we’re way ahead of what I thought was a very ambitious target at the moment. So, we’re working very closely with the sector to continue that progress.


[13]      Planning is a bit more arm’s length, obviously, but again the planning Act, I think, has given us the basis for taking forward this to the mainstream. I think we’ve all got issues in our constituencies around planning, so again I think the planning Act will overcome much of that and make it much more sustainable.


[14]      Energy has all come together in this portfolio for the first time; it was previously in two portfolios, and also a bit with the First Minister, so I think there’s a lot of exciting opportunities in energy. Again, I’m just having very early discussions and I will be making a statement later in this current term, before Christmas, about my priorities. I’m working very closely with Prys. We’ve been doing some work over the summer to come forward with that and yesterday I had a meeting on the tidal lagoon, for instance. So, I think that’s covered all the different areas of the portfolio.


[15]      Mark Reckless: Thank you. I know we’ll welcome the focus on implementing legislation from the previous Assembly and making sure that is working and taking us forward in the way that was intended. I wonder if I might start the questioning relating to our post-Brexit agriculture and rural development inquiry by asking you about how you perceive any future agreement or framework at a UK level in that area. You rightly say agriculture is devolved, but it’s been devolved in a circumstance where many of the key decisions, or certainly the key policy framework, have been set at an EU level. So, leaving the European Union, we’re all very keen that we should continue to receive that amount of common agricultural policy funds, and certainly that that shouldn’t be Barnett formulated, and that’s going to be a priority in negotiations, but is the Welsh Government demanding that that sum of money should simply be transferred as part of the block grant, with no ring-fencing or any arrangements or even a commitment to continue spending that on agriculture, or is there a willingness to agree some pan-UK protocol or framework or approach in any way?


[16]      Lesley Griffiths: Okay. I think we need to start at the beginning. It’s obviously going to be a very, very long process. We’ve had a great deal of activity, as I mentioned. So, I thought it was really important to bring everybody together straight away; I think it was 4 July. So, within two weeks of the vote, we had our first stakeholder group meeting, and I thought it was really important to bring everybody together because we didn’t want people working in silos. So, it was no good agriculture working here, fisheries working here, environment working here, so we brought everybody together where we started to talk about the future and how it would look. So, we’ve got the activity that’s been undertaken with the stakeholders. We had a stakeholder meeting on 4 July, and I held another one at the Royal Welsh Show on 18 July, I think. From those two stakeholder meetings, they told us that what they wanted to do was to have workshops where they could drill down into different aspects of it. Over the summer, officials have held four workshops. Have you had four now?


[17]      Mr Slade: Yes.


[18]      Lesley Griffiths: You’ve had all four now. I haven’t attended any of them, so I will ask Andrew to come in a bit more about the workshops later. We’re having a fifth one on 3 October, which I will attend, and then we’ll have another stakeholder meeting on 21 October. So, that’s the work with the stakeholders. Obviously then, there’s work going on with the UK Government. So, I’ve already met George Eustice, the UK agriculture Minister, and Michelle McIlveen, the Northern Ireland one; I haven’t met Fergus Ewing yet. I’ve invited all three Ministers—. I think it’s really important that the four of us work together, whilst we’ve got the devolution of the powers wholly devolved. It might be that we’ll have individual agricultural policies sitting under a UK framework for instance. I think it’s really important that the four of us do work together, so I’ve invited them to come to Cardiff, and that meeting, hopefully, will take place within the next six weeks.


[19]      We’ve had initial analysis on legislation for instance, so there are 5,000 pieces of legislation that affect my portfolio. So, for officials to have to unpick all that, you can see it’s a huge amount of work. I’m very keen not to see duplication, so stuff going on in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that we could use and vice versa, and with Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, for that to happen, we have to have really good relationships and working between officials. There is work being undertaken by Whitehall over the summer, which we haven’t been party to. I know that there are some quite good bilateral discussions going on at official level, but there is no formal mechanism for that. So, I think it’s really important that we get those mechanisms in place as soon as possible. Perhaps Andrew would like to say a bit more about official discussions.


[20]      Mr Slade: Yes. We’ve got overarching machinery that governs the constitutional arrangements, principally through the Joint Ministerial Committee, and that machinery is being strengthened in light of Brexit. That’s at a very high level, an inter-governmental level, and the point the Minister is making is that at portfolio level, there will be contact with Ministers, and we expect other UK Ministers to come to Cardiff in the not-too-distant future, which is very welcome. But, we’ve yet to see the development of official mechanisms, or mechanisms below ministerial level, to pull together all the Brexit thinking. So, although there are a lot of contacts going on at departmental level between sectoral interests, or policy officials dealing with particular areas, we haven’t yet got the machinery that sits behind that to formalise some of those contacts. And, as the Minister says, Whitehall colleagues have clearly been doing a lot of analytical work over the summer and it’s important that we can be part of that process and make sure that Welsh interests are properly reflected in that analysis.


[21]      Mark Reckless: Just one follow up on that, I think, Minister, you accepted that there could be some areas where we’d agree a UK-wide approach to a particular agricultural policy. Is it possible that might also be the case for an overall financing framework, as it has been in the CAP, even if it is in a lighter and less interfering way?




[22]      Lesley Griffiths: Certainly in the discussions that I’ve had with the sector, and again at the variety of agricultural shows that I’ve been to over the summer, each time I’ve met the National Farmers’ Union, the Farmers’ Union of Wales and the Country Land and Business Association. It’s interesting to hear their views because, obviously, they’ve been receiving the funding a lot longer than I’ve been involved. Some of them absolutely think that we should have a Welsh-specific and some of them think we should have some sort of UK framework. But, as I say, it’s very early days, and those are discussions that we have. They’re all very keen that we continue with the ring fence, but then you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that, really.


[23]      Mark Reckless: Thank you. Could I open it to Members? Huw.


[24]      Huw Irranca-Davies: It’s very early days yet, Cabinet Secretary. It’s very interesting that the dilemmas that this throws up are things such as pillar 1 and pillar 2 payments. We currently have a European structure, and devolved administrations can already make decisions on how much they allocate to rural development and how much they allocate to straightforward single farm payments, et cetera. The results on overarching structure are to do with environmental payments as well, albeit we have different schemes in Wales to England. What are your initial thoughts on the way forward? I know it’s very early days but, for example, if England decided that they wanted nothing to do any more with rural development funding and they were purely going to go down the farm subsidy payments route in some form or another, that could potentially leave our farmers at a disadvantage. Is that the sort of discussion, at least, that you are having in these early stages to try to develop that framework?


[25]      Lesley Griffiths: No. I haven’t started discussing that. What you’ve got to think is that we’re probably going to be in the EU realistically until 2019.


[26]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Yes. Absolutely.


[27]      Lesley Griffiths: So, we’re focusing on things that we need to do now rather than the kind of long term, but we will have to look at that. As you say, it is likely that within the three devolved administrations and the UK Government things will diverge. We’ve had these powers for 17 years and, as you say, we have done things differently. I just think that what it gives us is an opportunity to have a look at what would be best for Wales and to be Welsh-specific. Clearly, in the conversations that we’ve had over the summer, that’s something that’s come through very strongly.


[28]      Huw Irranca-Davies: But in doing so—I’m not asking for the detail—are you and your very well-experienced officials as well cognisant of the fact that, in these new freedoms that will come at some point, there are also potential dangers with that, including competitiveness of farming and agriculture, and also of leaving rural development high and dry? It’s that feeling of the framework that the Chair alluded to there. There needs to be some sort of agreement, it would suggest. I’m not talking about rolling back devolution at all—you wouldn’t expect me to say that—but some sort of understanding as to the general approach within the UK to avoid that.


[29]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes, and I think it’s about getting that balance right. When I met with George Eustice—and I’ve only met with him once up to now—he was talking about a British agricultural policy. It was like, ‘No, we will have a Welsh agricultural policy wholly devolved, and that’s how it will be’. However, I want to collaborate as much as I can. I don’t want duplication of work. I think the farming sector, in particular, want to see that level of collaboration. You’ve already heard Andrew say that it’s really important that officials engage, and, as you say, Andrew is very experienced, and in European affairs also. I don’t know if there’s anything you want to add.


[30]      Mr Slade: I think the question about pillar 1 and pillar 2 is an interesting one. So, most of our thinking, of course, over the last 20 plus years or so since devolution has been in that context, so, we’ve got to un-think some of that as we move forward. So, that’s the first point. The second is, to pick up on the Minister’s point about what’s in the best interests of Wales, if, having taken the powers ‘back’ from Brussels under devolution, the best way forward, as determined by Ministers, is that we should be participating in some wider UK arrangement for our sectors, for our natural resources and management thereof and so on, that will be where we will come from. The slight risk in a devolution context is a sort of starting presumption that everything happens at the UK level and then we work out what comes to you. That’s not how the devolution settlement works. I think there’s a third point that you sort of touch on, which is around: when does a Minister in Whitehall speak for the UK and when do they speak for England? I think, in a post-Brexit scenario, that becomes a much more pointed question, not just for us but also for English farmers or land managers in that context.


[31]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes, I think the most important thing is that we are around that table at every opportunity. The Prime Minister came to meet with the First Minister, and I think that that was very welcome. I was very keen to meet with the agriculture Ministers as soon as possible; as I say, I managed to meet with two of them at the Royal Welsh Show. Hopefully, when we meet in Cardiff, we’ll have a very specific agenda where some of these things can be—you know, we can start those discussions at a ministerial level that, hopefully, are going to take place at official level as well.


[32]      Mark Reckless: Simon.


[33]      Simon Thomas: Diolch. Tra ein bod ni’n dal yn trafod egwyddorion sylfaenol yma—[Anhyglyw.]—rhai o’r manylion. Rwy’n deall hynny. A fedrwch chi jest gadarnhau beth yw safbwynt y Cabinet ar hyn o bryd ynglŷn â masnachu? Mae’n siŵr eich bod chi wedi clywed yr un neges gan ffermwyr ag a glywais i dros yr haf, sef eu bod nhw eisiau dal i fasnachu fel y maen nhw wedi bod yn masnachu yn y farchnad sengl. Byddai rhai’n disgrifio hynny fel cael y deisen a’i bwyta hi, ond dyna’r sefyllfa yr ydym ynddi. Ddoe yn y Cyfarfod Llawn, fe roddodd y Prif Weinidog ddwy weledigaeth bur wahanol o sut y gall hyn gario ymlaen. Un oedd drwy berthynas fasnach rydd gyda’r Undeb Ewropeaidd, lle mae mynediad i’r farchnad sengl, megis ar y ffurf gan Ganada, sydd wedi dod i fodolaeth ond sydd ddim eto’n weithredol, ond sydd yn seiliedig ar fasnach rydd, ac un sy’n seiliedig ar aelodaeth o’r farchnad sengl, drwy EFTA neu rywbeth tebyg. Mae’r ddwy weledigaeth yn wahanol iawn, ac mae’r ddwy yn gwrthddweud ei gilydd, ac mae’n rhaid bod gan y Llywodraeth un amcan. A fedrwch chi gadarnhau beth yw’r amcan a beth yw safbwynt y Cabinet? Ai mynediad drwy fasnach rydd, neu aelodaeth o’r farchnad sengl yr ydych chi’n chwilio amdano ar gyfer cefn gwlad ac amaethwyr Cymru?


Simon Thomas: Thank you. While we’re still discussing the fundamental principles here, I know you can’t provide details at the moment. I understand that. Can you just confirm what the Cabinet’s viewpoint is at the moment with regard to trade? I’m sure you’ve heard the same message from farmers as I’ve heard over the summer, that they want to continue trading as they have been trading in the single market. Some would describe that as having one’s cake and eating it, but that’s the situation we’re in. Yesterday in Plenary, the First Minister provided us with two very different visions of how to take this forward. One was through a relationship based on free trade with the European Union, in which access to the single market would be similar to what is happening in Canada and which has come into being but is not active, based on free trade, and one based on membership of the single market, through EFTA or something similar. The two visions are very different, and they contradict each other, and the Government must have one aim. Can you confirm what the aim is and what the Cabinet’s viewpoint is? Is it access through free trade or membership of the single market that you are seeking for rural Wales and its farmers?

[34]      Lesley Griffiths: I think you’re absolutely right; the overwhelming message that’s come through is that we must continue to have that access to the 500 million people, and, certainly, that’s absolutely the red line, I think, that’s coming from the agricultural sector. You will have heard the First Minister say yesterday that we had our first meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee in relation to EU transition on Monday. We discussed what we’re looking at, and you heard the First Minister say yesterday about the two models, and we are going to have that discussed at the next meeting also.


[35]      The farming sector in particular is very concerned about tariffs. They’re also very concerned about New Zealand lamb, for instance, and what could happen there. It’s no secret that a lot of farmers voted ‘leave’, and, in my discussions with them over the summer, I’ve always asked them what they voted if they’ve raised the EU with me. Sometimes, I think they’ve perhaps not told me the truth because they think I’m going to shout at them, but I really want to understand why they did, because to the general public they can’t understand why farmers would vote ‘leave’ because of the level of subsidy et cetera. So, when you drill down as to why they voted ‘leave’, mainly their concerns were around regulations, for instance, and you have to say, ‘Well, look, we haven’t been dragged reluctantly to sign up to these—particularly environmental—directives, et cetera’. So, it’s not about subsidy. They want the free trade. So, what is it? It tends to be about regulation. But I think that also they were led—. You know, I think some promises were made by the ‘leave’ campaign that are now showing not to be true. But the absolute red line for them is that access to the single market, and they are very, very concerned—and why wouldn’t they be—about that. So, I think that’s a discussion that we will continue to have at Cabinet, and I’m sure the First Minister will bring forward a further statement.


[36]      Simon Thomas: So, just to be clear, then, because membership of the single market, which you can have through something like EFTA, means you carry on with the regulations that the farmers voted ‘leave’ to get rid of—

[37]      Lesley Griffiths: Not all of them.


[38]      Simon Thomas: Not all of them, no, but a majority, certainly in west Wales, unfortunately, but it’s true. So, that seems unlikely. On the other hand, with any free trade agreement, there is no guarantee there are no tariffs. You can have access to the single market but you might have tariffs, because with any free trade agreement we don’t know what negotiation there will be, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to that 50-odd per cent of New Zealand lamb that gets spread around the EU at the moment and doesn’t come to these shores. So, from what you’ve said, the Government as yet does not have a preferred position as to whether, of those two options—


[39]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, you heard what the First Minister said yesterday, and that will—


[40]      Simon Thomas: Yes. I was trying to find out what you thought. [Laughter.]


[41]      Lesley Griffiths: And those discussions will continue, and it will certainly be on the agenda at the next meeting.


[42]      Mr Slade: And, if I may, Minister and Chair, part of the problem with the various models is that they don’t necessarily include primary production. So, for a number of these arrangements, agriculture is not actually in the mix anyway, so they’re subject to a different set of regimes. Also, in addition to tariffs, we’ve got all the non-tariff barriers that might be associated with new trading arrangements, including some on Christianne’s side. The export health certification and anything to do with animals and animal products brings with it a whole suite of regulatory requirements that are international in origin and where there’s a lot of paperwork associated with them. If you’re trading across the EU at the moment, you don’t have to worry about those elements. That’s fair, isn’t it?

[43]      Dr Glossop: Yes, that’s absolutely right. So, we’ve got to be thinking about the arrangements that would have to be in place within Europe and then obviously with third countries. It’s going to be a very different matter. Of course, the powers to negotiate export certificates on a health basis is not a devolved matter. So, we would, in that case, have to be working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and our colleagues in other administrations to negotiate the certificates and then, from that point on, when we’ve got the arrangements in place, that’s when we can start looking at the competitive nature of the market.


[44]      Simon Thomas: Can I just follow up on two things? That’s me done then, but I’ll follow up now because they’ve been raised and I wanted to raise them at some stage. The first one is animal health. One of the things that I wanted to ask you at the moment is whether you’ve been able at all to start discussions around the TB eradication programme—not the details of it now; I know that you’re going to announce that and we’ll have another opportunity to talk about that. But the fact is that we are able—through the single market and having an EU-approved TB eradication programme, there is no problem with exports: no problem with dairy exports and no problem with cattle and so forth. Once we have a trigger of article 50 or a different relationship with that single market, then it is perfectly feasible that a member country or the EU could look at our TB status here in Wales and be very unhappy with it and start to raise objections to exports and so forth. So, has that at all been flagged up with you and have you been able to start discussions on that?


[45]      Lesley Griffiths: It certainly has been flagged up with me, particularly by farmers, but also at—. We have discussed it. I’m going out to Brussels a week on Sunday to meet with, hopefully, the commissioner, Phil Hogan, and it’s certainly something that I would want to start having discussions on. I think it’s very important that we have those discussions early because, obviously, it could be a very difficult issue.


[46]      Simon Thomas: But there’s no hint of any resolution at the moment.


[47]      Lesley Griffiths: It’s far too early.


[48]      Simon Thomas: Okay.


[49]      Y cwestiwn olaf sydd gen i, i droi at rywbeth gwahanol: un o’r materion eraill sy’n dod fel rhan o aelodaeth o’r farchnad sengl yw deilliad bwyd, fel petai—provenance, hynny yw—yn arbennig pethau fel statws protected geographical indication  ar gyfer nifer o gynnyrch o Gymru. Mae Llywodraeth San Steffan wedi dechrau sôn am ryw fath o system o adnabod ble mae bwyd yn dod ohono ac roedd rhyw drafodaeth yn y wasg wedi bod am y system yma. A ydych wedi dechrau eto? A ydych wedi dechrau trafod hyn a beth fyddai’r posibiliadau, ar ôl gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, o sicrhau bod bwyd o Gymru yn dal gyda marc bwyd o Gymru ac yn dal gydag ansawdd a’r lles anifeiliaid hefyd sy’n dod gyda’r marc yna?


The final question that I have, to turn to something different: one of the other issues that arises from being a member of the single market is the provenance of food, and in particular things such as the PGI status of a number of products from Wales. The Westminster Government has started to mention a system for identifying where food comes from and there has been some discussion in the press about this system. Have you started to discuss this yet and what the possibilities would be, after leaving the European Union, of ensuring that food from Wales still has a food mark from Wales and the quality and animal welfare that comes with that mark?



[50]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes, absolutely, this has been raised with me. I visited Halen Môn and Puffin Produce Ltd over the summer, and, as you can imagine, both of those, and, obviously, Welsh lamb—. So, it is something that’s been highlighted and, again, it would be something that I’d want to get on the agenda very early when we go to Brussels. It would depend on how we come out of the EU. We may still be able to have that use. If not, we would have to have our own and that would probably be at a UK level.


[51]      Simon Thomas: Again, that goes back to if we’re members of the single market, we can probably still use it, but if we just have access with some sort of free trade—


[52]      Lesley Griffiths: That’s right. So, it depends on the exit that we have. But it’s definitely something that’s being flagged up.


[53]      Simon Thomas: And that will be something that you’ll discuss with Phil Hogan.


[54]      Lesley Griffiths: And that’s something that I very much want to discuss, yes, when I go to Brussels.


[55]      Mark Reckless: I think David had indicated next and I’ll then go to Jenny.


[56]      David Melding: I just want to follow this issue of, really, how you’re planning and thinking because I realise you don’t have all the answers yet. We’re unlikely to be members of the single market and we’re very likely to exit the European Union’s custom union. As well as tariffs as a consequence of that policy—where we’d have to have either bilateral agreements with all other nations in the world, all rely World Trade Organization rules—would Welsh agricultural exports be particularly vulnerable to quotas?




[57]      Mr Slade: I think, particularly in relation to red meat, particularly lamb, that would be an issue. So, among some of the potential sector vulnerabilities in terms of future trade deals, red meat is certainly up there on our radar, and, indeed, we’ve already fed that into UK Government. You would expect us to. But, similarly, our shellfish sector, most of that produce goes straight from our shores across to mainland Europe. The wrong trade deal done there could have very profound impacts very quickly, and that’s been flagged to us very early on by the fisheries sector.


[58]      Lesley Griffiths: I think I put in the evidence paper that 90 per cent of Welsh produce is exported to the EU. So, it’s going to have a massive impact.


[59]      David Melding: I was going to say that I’m encouraged that you’re thinking about it—perhaps ‘encouraged’ is not the right word. Clearly, we’re quite vulnerable, I think, in terms of whatever arrangements, but we could feed into a more vigorous food policy, of course, and consume some of the wonderful shellfish ourselves and feed our increasing number of visitors, perhaps, in boutique restaurants and hotels. So, there is a bit of a silver lining there, but I think the cloud is a pretty heavy one.


[60]      I just want to return to this issue of where we’re going to get to in terms of the type of agricultural policy, both in terms of farm payments and in the wider rural economy that we’re likely to have. I have to say, I thought the First Minister said yesterday that the Welsh Government’s position was that agriculture would be fully devolved, by which I think he meant that the Welsh Government would want all the current funding stream that comes from the European Union to be transferred into our block grant forever. I’m sure we all would agree that that should be our negotiating position, but it’s somewhat unlikely given that current payments come from a European scheme—the common agriculture policy. It’s not directly funded by Britain at all. Obviously, the British state at the moment makes a contribution to the EU, but the funding payments that go around the EU are in no way uniform. Some countries do better than us, some not so well. So, what does happen if we cannot negotiate that from the UK Government, and would it be better, then, to focus on at least a UK scheme that tries to put together a sort of funding scheme that has some comparison to the current EU CAP?


[61]      Lesley Griffiths: You will have heard—. I’m thinking that the First Minister said this yesterday in First Minister’s questions: you will have heard him say that he’s had the information now from the UK Government that we’re okay till 2020, basically; that we will receive that funding. But after 2020 we don’t know where those farm payments will come from. We don’t know where that funding’s going to come from. So, we are going to have to negotiate that. In reply to your question ‘Would it would be better to have a UK one?, I don’t know yet. That’s something that we’ll have to discuss going forward.


[62]      I’ve had discussions with the agricultural sector over the summer in a variety of areas, as I’ve explained already, and the agricultural sector accept that up until now—and some of them don’t like this expression—they haven’t had to justify themselves to the taxpayer because that funding has come forward.  But, basically, if we don’t get the funding—there is no way we would not fund agriculture. We couldn’t. If you think about what farming does—and I think this is part of the difficulty and, again, I’ve had this discussion—some farmers want to now be called food producers. Some farmers don’t like that because they do so much more than just produce food. They’re custodians of the countryside, they’re land management—some examples of land management are absolutely exceptional. But I don’t think the public kind of link that. Okay, when you go to buy your food from the supermarket, they don’t think about where that comes from, and I think we need to get that out there, and the farming community agree. That’s not a job just for Government, that’s a job for everybody to get that out there. But at the moment we don’t know where that funding is going to come from after 2020. The First Minister, again, has said that the funding should come till 2023. At the moment we have assurance that it will come till 2020, but that’s to be negotiated.


[63]      David Melding: How feasible do you think it’s going to be to retain a structure that has roughly the current levels of funding going into agriculture and the wider rural economy? On a UK basis, I can see the lobbies working hard and, you know, effectively, it’s the policy in England that’s going to drive this, isn’t it? Because if they reserve the current amounts or something around that sort of current level of support, then I can see that we are going to get a reasonable deal and, you know, we could even argue that as we currently do a bit better than the rest of the UK, that is something that should continue.


[64]      I wish you well, but I think it’s going to be very difficult for Wales to go it alone and say, ‘Well, this is really what we need to be preserving’. I just wonder what sort of discussions you’re having with George Eustice. I mean, I don’t know what future his career will have if payments are not roughly equivalent to what they were before, because he clearly said in the run-up to the referendum that that would happen. The Scots and the Northern Irish have similar concerns here and it seems to me that all of you farming Ministers around the UK should be battling hard with the Treasury to have a UK scheme, but then with maximum devolution to Wales. Wouldn’t that be a much better way of progressing?


[65]      Lesley Griffiths: Absolutely, and I can assure you I will be battling very hard. I think you’re right about looking at the UK Government. I cannot imagine that they won’t keep those current levels, so, therefore, you know, we will be able to have that level of funding coming in as well. But it is important that we talk and that’s why I’ve invited them—I thought, ‘Get in there quick’—to Cardiff first, because I think it is really important that the four of us do sing from the same hymn sheet on this aspect of funding.


[66]      David Melding: So, that’s more important than a battle over the block grant, is it?


[67]      Lesley Griffiths: Say that again, sorry.


[68]      David Melding: That approach is more important than the battle over the block grant.


[69]      Lesley Griffiths: I think we need to make sure we have that funding. I want to see the agriculture sector in Wales continue to be sustainable and resilient and, you know, they need that funding. So, I’ve assured them that we will have that battle if need be, but equally I think they have a role to play in ensuring the public understand why they need that funding, because I’m sure we’ve all had discussions with members of the public about this. So, it will be on the agenda for when we meet in November. I do hope we will meet regularly after that. As I say, I’ve not had the opportunity to meet with Fergus Ewing yet. At an official level, has that conversation started?


[70]      Mr Slade: It began informally, but, again, I go back to my earlier point about having the mechanisms in place to have those discussions on a more formal footing, and in a world—back to our earlier conversation—where the traditional blocks of the CAP as we think of them will no longer apply. Nevertheless, under the current arrangement within the CAP, we have an allocation that comes to Wales and it is for Welsh Ministers to determine how that money is spent within the framework of the EU rules, whether—


[71]      David Melding: Yes, to give you flexibility.


[72]      Mr Slade: Yes. Whether that’s in relation to flexibilities under pillar 1 direct payments, or under the rural development programme. And the starting position must be that, under devolution, the right to engage in that discussion comes first to Ministers to determine how we move forward. But if, as you say, the best way forward is through a UK approach, then it is for Ministers to agree that.


[73]      Mark Reckless: Thank you. And thank you, Cabinet Secretary, for I think a more nuanced approach, perhaps, than I was able to receive from the First Minister yesterday. But, clearly, it’s going to be key to negotiation and I think key to our inquiry as well. Jenny, and then I’ll go to Vikki.


[74]      Jenny Rathbone: I just want to pick up on the issues of regulation in relation to our negotiations across the four devolved or non-devolved administrations. Because, looking at it from the perspective of the consumer, regulation is extremely important and we seem to be talking about this as if the CAP was set in aspic, when it’s obviously had many iterations. The whole purpose of the rural development programme was to foresee the gradual reduction in the amount of money that the EU was spending on agricultural subsidies. So, it’s rather depressing to me this idea that George Eustice’s future is dependent on continuing to shell out large sums of money to millionaire farmers.


[75]      So, there are two points, really, which are around what aspects of regulation you think need to be devolved, and I’m thinking around things like control of disease. You know, we’ve got a porous border here, so, although we have a separate—we’ve been much fiercer in controlling the movement of animals in order to eradicate TB. If we don’t collaborate with our partners in the other parts of the British island, we’re quickly going to see how people smuggle contaminated animals back into Wales. Equally, the consumer wants to know that if they’re going to pay premium prices for Welsh lamb, they want to make sure that it is Welsh lamb, not New Zealand lamb masquerading as Welsh lamb. So, how much, in your discussions with the four agricultural Ministers, are you going to be able to agree on these important points for consumers? How much of that will be down to politics and therefore we’ll need to have it devolved so that we’ve got specific measures that best meet the needs of the Welsh community?


[76]      Lesley Griffiths: If I could start on subsidies, I think, if you speak to most farmers, they would not particularly want to be reliant on subsidies. If we want to have trust and confidence in our food, I think it’s very important that we work closely with the sector to make sure the public have that. Welsh produce I think is amazing. I’ve seen some fantastic examples over the summer and we need to protect that as much as possible.


[77]      The point you made about New Zealand lamb masquerading as Welsh lamb—packaging and labelling—I think that’s a really important point, and there might be opportunities. Looking at the opportunities, rather than the challenges, I think that’s one area—. I was at the, I want to say the Anglesey show—I think it was the Anglesey show—where somebody just came up to me and said, ‘Look at this, I’ve just bought this bacon’—


[78]      Mr Slade: Yes, it was Anglesey.


[79]      Lesley Griffiths: It was Anglesey, wasn’t it? And on the packaging was the dragon flag, but when you read the small print, it had been packaged in Wales, but it wasn’t from Wales. Now, to me, that is wrong, because this woman had bought it thinking it was Welsh produce. Now, nobody is going to scrutinise the little writing at the bottom, but you see the dragon—. I’m going to Puffin in Pembrokeshire. Their packaging is fantastic I think. I was actually in Morrisons the other day, and I saw somebody rooting around to try and find that Welsh packaging, and I asked—people will think I’m a bit mad now in Wrexham—why she was looking for that, but it was because she wanted that Welsh produce. So, I think packaging and labelling are things that I would want to look at very carefully going forward.


[80]      I don’t know if Christianne wants to—


[81]      Jenny Rathbone: So, is that something you think we should endeavour to get a UK-wide approach to—


[82]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, I think it would be something that I would like—


[83]      Jenny Rathbone: —because, otherwise, we’re always going to get people trying to smuggle things in?


[84]      Lesley Griffiths: I would like to do more around packaging and labelling. That would be an area I would like to look at. Perhaps Christianne could say something more about the movement of animals.


[85]      Dr Glossop: Yes, of course. Thank you. Of course, when it comes to exotic disease that we don’t have in the United Kingdom, we are united in trying to keep those diseases out. So, as chief veterinary officers, we scrutinise the risks across the world on a monthly basis and work together. I think that we are very closely aligned with our objectives on keeping infection out.


[86]      When it comes to diseases that have a different disease picture between England and Wales and Scotland, then we all have to be very mindful and respectful of those differences to make sure that we can protect what we have and seek to, sort of, improve health levels. That’s why we work together as chief vets. We meet regularly, we provide each other with a challenge function and we also seek to raise standards collectively. When it comes to a disease difference between countries, then, of course, we have to have the right measures in place, and they are in place already. Scotland, for example, has a very good programme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea. They’re ahead of us on that at the moment. So, there are measures in place to prevent infected animals moving into Scotland. That’s just one example where—it’s not even a statutory disease, but there are arrangements in place to protect health statuses. That needs to continue. That’s very important, because we know that infectious disease does not respect the boundaries between England and Wales, or Scotland and England. We have to work hard to protect those ourselves.




[87]      Jenny Rathbone: But do farmers realise that, in their desire for a bonfire of the regulations—do they understand that, if they’re going to continue to be able to sell their goods, regulations are required to ensure that what it says on the tin is what people are getting?


[88]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes, absolutely. In the discussions I’ve had with them, when they’ve come up with one of the reasons they voted ‘leave’—because of the perception of the regulation—I have said, ‘We have not been dragged kicking and screaming to sign up to these regulations, or reluctantly; we have signed up’. I think one farmer said to me, ‘We’ve had so much imposed on us’. Well, it hasn’t been imposed. We’ve been part of that vote in the European Parliament. I think it’s 98 per cent of EU laws we’ve signed up to, we’ve voted for. We will have that regulation and maybe we’ll strengthen that regulation in some areas, when we look at our own Welsh-specific requirements going forward.


[89]      I just thought this might be a good point, Chair, to bring in Matthew, to give us some information around the four workshops, because that is starting to shape future policy.


[90]      Mr Quinn: Just to pick up that particular point, it was very striking. So, these workshops are across the whole of the portfolio—stakeholders in the environment and both the terrestrial and the marine. It was very striking on this particular point about standards, where there’s been lots said and assumed, that actually all the sectors were saying that high standards in relation to environment and animal welfare were a central part of their market, whether that was marine or water or whatever sector we were talking about in this portfolio. So, while there may be individuals hoping that individual bits of controls that annoy them might go away, as sectors, the sector representatives are saying, ‘Actually, this is crucial and this is part of it’. We are not looking at a race to the bottom in Wales. That would not benefit us. We get premiums for a lot of our produce at the moment because of the recognition of those standards, because of the recognition of origin. So, there was a really strong sense that that was not what people were looking to see, which was very welcome.


[91]      In terms of the rest of the work, I think there was a real sense around looking for the benefits to society. The Minister mentioned the linkages between farming and what farming provides. Quite a lot of discussion across the sectors was around the scope for things like payment for ecosystem services; for example, a discussion around water quality, where Dŵr Cymru specifically said ‘This is how much it costs us to treat the water in this area’. That money, theoretically, is available to those farms in order to manage that land differently. So, there’s a very interesting dialogue going around different ways in which we could deliver and what the specific issues and requirements are for Wales.


[92]      Picking up the earlier point from David Melding, the market one is one we’ve spent some time on, looking at where things actually go, and it is striking that at the moment we are very much part of these wider markets. One of the consequences of that is that we don’t have that much local processing, so one of the issues identified very early across almost all the sectors was that, if we were going to prosper in these areas and perhaps, as you suggested, have more of a closed loop with things in Wales, then we needed to look at how we were going to reinstate some of those facilities that perhaps, over time, in a wider market, have been going elsewhere. So, overall, the positiveness of the events and the commonality of interest and the desire to work within the framework of the new legislation to deliver a long-term product for Wales is very beneficial, and I think will stand us in excellent stead in bringing to the table discussions about what Wales stakeholders are looking for and what Wales’s voice is within that. Particularly picking up the questions about frameworks, there is this sense that the FM’s raised about having a truly federal relationship in which, if we’re having a UK framework, it’s one we’ve all agreed—it’s not one that’s just given to us.


[93]      Lesley Griffiths: I think the confidence in brand Wales is something that’s come out very clearly, and farmers take huge pride. We have fantastic produce in Wales. It’s of a very high quality, and farmers take great pride in that, and I think Matthew’s right—we don’t want that race to the bottom. We want to keep that high quality. I have been, I suppose because I was new in portfolio and I didn’t know the sector very well—. Perhaps at the Royal Welsh it was a bit more downbeat, but that’s gone now, and there is a real optimism, I think, amongst the sector going forward that we can have some very Welsh-specific policies for the community.


[94]      Mark Reckless: That’s good to hear. Can I move on to Vikki?


[95]      Vikki Howells: Thank you, Chair. I’d just like to go back to the rural development programmes that we are currently operating under pillar 2 of CAP, because we know they are absolutely crucial to many of our marginal farmers in particular, and that was certainly the message that I picked up on my recent visit to a farm in my constituency.


[96]      Obviously, the cycle that we’re operating in at the moment is 2014-20, and as you said earlier, we know that that period is safe, so to speak, in terms of funding. But, thinking in particular about the Glastir scheme, which we know has huge environmental benefits in terms of the woodland planting, but also these crucial economic benefits to farmers who engage with that scheme, I’m just wondering whether you could provide us with any clarification about new contracts under the Glastir scheme. Because, although we’re still in this window now, up to 2020, the Glastir planting schemes normally last for 10 years, so are there going to be any new contracts that will be brought out for Glastir schemes signed between now and 2020?


[97]      Lesley Griffiths: I know there was some concern, because straight after the referendum, I thought it was sensible to have a pause, so we had a pause, but that’s finished now and we’re back on now we’ve had that assurance about the funding. You’re quite right. What we’re doing is: any agreements that are currently submitted with the department in the normal course of business will be formally signed by January of next year and will be honoured. So, that will be fine, as long as they’re done by January 2017. But I think you’re right about Glastir; it’s really important. I read your piece yesterday in the Western Mail about your visit to a farm and certainly, from the visits I’ve had, the Glastir scheme has been very welcome and there’s been fantastic work done in relation to land management from an environmental point of view, following the scheme coming in.


[98]      Vikki Howells: Yes, it’s so important that we continue that good work, really, isn’t it?


[99]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes. I went to a farm, actually, where the farm next door didn’t have hedges and it just looked so odd to me. The farmer was telling me about the work he’d done to his hedges through the Glastir scheme and it just looked completely odd when you saw that.


[100]   Mr Slade: Can I just add, Minister, on the Glastir point—? It’s very interesting. These are multi-annual schemes, which, as you’ve described, have a long lead-in time and a long tail-off at the back of them. There is a real issue for us and for the UK as well in relation to schemes that operate elsewhere about what happens in this intervening period. So, we have a promise or an assurance up to the autumn statement, and, as the Minister said, we’re interpreting that promise to include the one January contract, because effectively, they’re being worked up at the moment and it would be a bit of a breach of faith to move away from those at this stage. But what happens to Glastir contracts coming to an end at the end of next year and the year after, before we get to life beyond 2020? I think that is a big issue that we’re going to have to address collectively in order to ensure that good work done through agri-environment schemes is not lost, and as we develop new arrangements to reflect the value of our natural environment and our natural resources.


[101]   Mark Reckless: Thank you. Can I ask whether either Jayne or Sian have any contribution to make on the post-Brexit agriculture, rural development and food area?


[102]   Jayne Bryant: Yes. I think you covered it in your answer to Jenny on the food and drink, because I think there are lots of exciting projects that are going on and there are so many opportunities around at the moment to promote Welsh produce. But, I just wondered, perhaps, whether you could elaborate on a few of the things that you’re doing to promote and develop things locally and internationally in the food and drink industry.


[103]   Lesley Griffiths: Certainly. I’m off to Paris for a day in October, where there’s a big food—what’s the right word? Is it a ‘trade mission’? I don’t know what you’d call it.


[104]   Mr Slade: It’s a trade fair—SIAL.


[105]   Lesley Griffiths: A trade fair. Yes, SIAL.


[106]   David Melding: Do you need an assistant? [Laughter.]


[107]   Lesley Griffiths: I’ve got plenty of offers, thank you, David. So, there’s a big event there that we’ll be doing. I’ll be going along to that. We support food festivals; I think it’s Abergavenny Food Festival this weekend. We support food festivals right across Wales; I think that’s really important. I think food festivals have gained a great deal—you know, they’re certainly much better attended than they were several years ago. I know we’ve got Llangollen food festival next month up in my area—


[108]   Jayne Bryant: Newport’s coming up as well.


[109]         Lesley Griffiths: You’ve got Newport. So, we support food festivals. The First Minister’s made it very clear that we need to go out and sell Wales—or continue to sell Wales, we always have done—and certainly, we’ll be looking for opportunities. I think there’s a trade fair for food coming up in Dubai. I think, in fact, Rebecca Evans went to it also. But, we do need to be looking for new food markets. I also think there is more to be done here in the UK. On a regional level, I think we need to be making sure that the north-west of England, or the north-east of England, know about Welsh produce much more. So, I think there’s some really good opportunities there.


[110]   Jayne Bryant: Yes, definitely. Just on another subject, we talked about animal transportation in terms of disease. What about all the EU regulations around animal health, in terms of the quality of how they’re kept, and regulations around that? I’m just concerned that we should make sure that they’re still in place, or perhaps where needs be, look to strengthen those.


[111]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, absolutely. Everything’s still in place. While we’re members of the EU—and, as I say, that will probably take us up to 2019, realistically—I’ve said this to farmers, alongside everything else: ‘You have your obligations; they are still there until we exit the EU.’ And I mentioned—I think it was in my answer to Jenny—that, looking at all the regulations, all the legislation, it could be that we will actually strengthen some of these when we look into them. So, that’s one area that we’ll certainly be looking at.


[112]   Ms Glossop: I might add that we’ve got our own animal health and welfare framework, and that is quite separate from any discussions about Brexit. It seeks to make sure that animals in Wales have a good quality of life, that they’re healthy, and that the food that’s produced from them is of good quality and safe to eat. And none of that changes; that’s our vision. That’s a 10-year framework and we’ve recently published the implementation plan for the coming year, so the vision for raising standards of health and welfare in Wales for our livestock and all our animals remains; that’s the solid foundation stone of everything that we do.


[113]   Jayne Bryant: Thank you.


[114]   Mark Reckless: Can I bring in Jenny, followed by Huw?


[115]   Jenny Rathbone: I just want to pick up on this point about promoting Welsh food locally, because the British diet is a bit of a public health disaster. In the context of all the unknowns around Brexit, how are we going to continue to promote good food for all, in terms of getting everybody to eat proper food, as opposed to processed rubbish coming from goodness knows where?


[116]   Lesley Griffiths: I think food festivals do that, and I think there’ll probably be more opportunities from a procurement point of view. I remember when I was health Minister I did some work around hospital food in relation to—. Each hospital had different menus, which wasn’t, to me, from a financial point of view, sensible. So, we did a big piece of work where we had all-Wales hospital ‘menus’, for want of a better word. And, at the time, we couldn’t use Welsh lamb because of procurement rules. So, again, that’s an opportunity maybe to look at procurement, to make sure that more people in Wales know about Welsh food through our public sector. And, again, through the national procurement service, which I think all public bodies are now signed up to in Wales, we can perhaps do some further work around that too.


[117]   Jenny Rathbone: But, also, there’s our obligation; if we’re going to have fresh food produced locally in our hospitals, then we need to ensure that our agriculture industry is there to provide that.


[118]   Lesley Griffiths: Absolutely. That’s why we know they’ll need our support still.


[119]   Huw Irranca-Davies: It’s actually pre-empted the question I was going to ask, because one of the big criticisms previously—this will be music to your ears, Chair—in this new freedom that we may have post European CAP policy and so on and forth, is the issue around procurement. And I have to say that a lot of the mythology around procurement is a load of baloney. A good piece of work the Welsh Assembly did previously with Professor Dermot Cahill in Bangor showed that to be the case. It was simply an issue of how good was the procurement expertise that could devise the right packages to put them into hospitals and so on. However, we now have no excuse. So, is it your intention to look at this? Because if you look, for example, even within European rules, some of the things that the Italians have done in terms of food procurement is quite radical and quite revolutionary, in that the menu in a school will be local, fresh produce. It’s only when you can’t fill it with local fresh produce it becomes something else, and they’re taught about how to use that local produce. So, could this be music to your ears, Chairman. Could this be an opportunity where we look afresh at this in order to get Welsh black beef off the hills of Ogmore straight into Bridgend College, so that we get—? ‘Let them eat scallops’ should be our motive. [Laughter.] From Ceredigion.


[120]   Lesley Griffiths: I don’t know about your boys, but my girls wouldn’t have eaten scallops when they were in school. [Laughter.] I think it is an opportunity, absolutely, and it’s something that the food and drink industry board are already looking at. As I said, I remember, when I was health Minister, being very frustrated that we couldn’t use Welsh lamb. So, I think it is one of the big opportunities that’s come forward and something that we will certainly be looking at.




[121]   Mark Reckless: Can we move on to other aspects of the Minister’s portfolio? Sian, did you have anything on this broad area or are you happy to move on?


[122]   Sian Gwenllian: Fe wnaf jest grynhoi ychydig o sylwadau, os caf, ar y diwedd fel hyn felly, achos rwy’n meddwl ein bod wedi mynd i sawl maes pwysig ac rwy’n meddwl ein bod wedi cyfro’r meysydd sydd angen y blaenoriaeth mewn ffordd.


Sian Gwenllian: I’ll summarise a few comments, if I may, at the end like this, because I think we have covered a number of important areas and areas that require priority.


[123]   Ond rwy’n mynd yn ôl at y pwynt yr oedd Simon yn gwneud ar y cychwyn. Rwy’n meddwl ei bod yn ofnadwy o bwysig rŵan fod yna eglurder ynglŷn â pha fodel masnachu rydym yn sôn amdano wrth symud ymlaen, achos mae pob dim yn deillio o hwnnw wedyn, onid ydy? Tan ein bod yn gwybod pa fodel rydym yn mynd i fod yn gweithredu oddi tano neu’n gwthio amdano, mae’n anodd datblygu ym maes amaethyddiaeth, a meysydd eraill. Mae’n anodd symud ymlaen heb wybod yn union beth ydy’r model. Buaswn i’n meddwl bod hynny’n flaenoriaeth efallai i chi bwysleisio ar y Cabinet ein bod yn cyrraedd at y sefyllfa yna cyn gynted â phosibl.


But I want to return to the point that Simon made at the beginning. I think it’s extremely important that there is clarity regarding what trading model we’re talking about in moving forward, because everything stems from that then, doesn’t it? Until we know what model we’re going to be operating or pushing for, it’s very difficult to develop in the agriculture sector, and other sectors. It’s difficult to move on without knowing what the model is. I’d suspect that is a priority perhaps for you to emphasise to the Cabinet that we reach that situation as soon as possible.

[124]   Buaswn i hefyd yn meddwl mai’r flaenoriaeth y mae ein ffermwyr ni yn sicr yn poeni amdani ydy’r CAP ac arian Glastir. Rwy’n meddwl ei bod y bwysig ofnadwy felly ein bod yn rhoi blaenoriaeth i’r ddau faes yna hefyd fel bod y sicrwydd yna yn dechrau datblygu, achos mae’n gyfnod hynod o ansicr i bawb a gorau po gyntaf y cawn ni eglurder a hyder bod yna gamau breision yn cael eu cymryd. Felly, rwy’n dymuno pob lwc ichi yn eich gwaith yn y maes yma. Nid yw’n waith hawdd.


I’d also think that the priority that our farmers certainly are concerned about is the CAP and Glastir funding. I think it’s extremely important that we prioritise those two areas as well, so those assurances start to develop, because it is an extremely uncertain time for everybody and the sooner the better that we get clarity and confidence that significant steps are being taken. I wish you luck in this area. It’s not an easy task.

[125]   Lesley Griffiths: Diolch, Sian. I think you’re right, it is a very uncertain time. That’s why we thought it was so important to bring all aspects of the portfolio from different sectors together in the stakeholder groups that we did. From that, they wanted the workshops. It was the individuals at the meetings who wanted the workshops. So we’ve done a huge amount of work over the summer to listen to what they were saying, what their priorities were, and I think Matthew clarified that for us.


[126]   In relation to the trading model, I absolutely hear what you say and it’s something I’ve raised and I will continue to raise. I’m sure we’ll get that clarity very soon. I hope I’ve given you reassurance in relation to both CAP and Glastir.


[127]   Mark Reckless: Cabinet Secretary, can I just ask: in terms of the understanding I think I, and potentially we, had of what the First Minister said yesterday, do you accept that we are now leaving the customs union, we are now leaving the single market, in that we’re not going to have an European economic area-type relationship, but, nonetheless, we’re looking to have free trade and one of the aspects where we’ll want to ensure there are no tariffs is agriculture? Is that your focus or are you still looking at potential single-market membership?


[128]   Lesley Griffiths: The First Minister stated yesterday that there are a couple of models that we can look at, and obviously that information will come forward from him. But I think it’s really important that we have these early discussions ready for when we sit around. I think what that really does show is that it’s really important that we are around that table, not just for these negotiations, but for the trade negotiations that are going to come forward also.


[129]   Mark Reckless: And, in agriculture specifically, would you like to see continued tariff-free access to the European market for agricultural and food products, and is that something you’d also like to see extended to third countries beyond the EU?


[130]   Lesley Griffiths: I certainly would like to see it for the EU and I think that’s what the agricultural sector wants also.


[131]   Mark Reckless: Thank you. Moving on to other aspects of your portfolio, I wonder if I might lead off on climate change. I just wonder, Cabinet Secretary, what your perspective is as to why Wales has not been more relatively successful in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, given the substantial reduction in heavy industry and emissions associated with that.


[132]   Lesley Griffiths: We’ve done a great deal of work in this area. I think what the environment Act did was help us in this area. So, we have to have reports published so that we can monitor it much more carefully. My predecessor went to Paris last year to the Conference of the Parties in December, and I think we had a really good story—. Did you go, Matthew, to that?


[133]   Mr Quinn: I didn’t go personally, no.


[134]   Lesley Griffiths: I think we had a really good story to tell, coming out of that.


[135]   Mr Quinn: We were one of the regions invited to meet the secretary general specifically to commend us on the action we’d taken to lead the work.


[136]   Lesley Griffiths: Absolutely. So, what I want to do is now implement the priorities in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 that relate to climate change. I think it’s really important that I work with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that all the policies and proposals that have been developed within our portfolios do deliver that low-carbon future. We’ve just had the publication of the latest climate change risk assessment evidence report from the UK Committee on Climate Change. I’m going to review those risks in light of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the environment Act because obviously that’s increased the legislative requirements. 


[137]   I suppose my big concern, and you’d expect me to say this coming from the portfolio that I had, is the effect of climate change on our vulnerable people and communities, particularly. So, that’s where I will be having a focus.


[138]   Mark Reckless: I think probably all members of the committee would want to see a continuation of heavy steelmaking at Port Talbot. I just wonder what input you have and what consideration is given as to the likely impact on carbon dioxide emissions of the continuation of steelmaking there potentially, were that to go to an arc furnace regime rather than what we have now, and also what the First Minister said yesterday about his work to try and ensure cheaper energy. Are you concerned of any potential impacts of that on higher carbon dioxide emissions?


[139]   Lesley Griffiths: That’s not something I’ve had any discussions about. I don’t know if there’s been a discussion at official level.


[140]   Mr Quinn: Clearly, Tata and Aberthaw are our two big emitters. As departments we’ve worked closely together over the years to support those companies to make investments to increase the efficiency of their operations over the years. There’s somebody seconded into the Tata team from my team on the environmental side, but I’ll hand over perhaps to Prys to say a little bit more about where we are.


[141]   Mr Davies: Absolutely. I think, in terms of the Minister’s priorities, she’s emphasised implementing the environment Act provisions, whereby we’ll have to set interim targets for production up to 2050 as well as carbon budgets. I think, as part of that process of setting our pathway towards 2050 and 80 per cent emissions reductions, that is something that we’re going to have to look at in particular, given the particular structure and nature of the Welsh economy. We need to think about how we ensure a steel business that is sustainable, going forward, with reduced emissions, because all countries across the globe are committed to similar emission-reduction commitments. So, in many ways, it’s a question of business competitiveness—


[142]   Mark Reckless: Are they all committed to 80 per cent or similar? Surely, our number is rather higher than most.


[143]   Mr Davies: That 80 per cent is modelled closely on the 2 per cent cap discussed in Paris in terms of increasing temperature and keeping that—


[144]   Mark Reckless: But the international commitment is to the 2 per cent or at least referenced, then you’re inferring from that what that might require for overall emissions.


[145]   Mr Davies: Yes, but, at the end of the day, we have a position whereby countries across the world will be moving in this direction and, if we want to ensure that we have a sustainable steel industry going forward, it’s a question of business competitiveness and we need to support and facilitate that transition.


[146]   Mark Reckless: David, you have a question on climate change as well.


[147]   David Melding: Just one specific: in 2010, Welsh Government committed to a 40 per cent reduction—at least 40 per cent, actually, because what was stated was by 2020—of greenhouse gas emissions. The environment Act has introduced this statutory target of 80 per cent by 2050 and then interim targets for 2020, which leads me to think, ‘Well, it’s not going to be the 40 per cent’, and for 2030 and 2040. So, where are we with the ‘40 per cent at least’ commitment, Minister? Is that gone or is it still active?


[148]   Lesley Griffiths: Prys?


[149]   Mr Davies: I’m happy to pick that up, absolutely. Those two commitments are still active as set out in the existing climate change strategy that we have. There are actually two targets set out in that strategy: first, a 3 per cent reduction year-on-year target for areas of devolved responsibilities. So, to go back to the Chair’s original point on this matter, actually we’re ahead of the curve in terms of emission reductions in areas of devolved responsibilities. The 40 per cent is based on an all-Wales devolved and non-devolved perspective and we are not on trajectory there, but some of the levers are not within our gift and control.


[150]   David Melding: So, the interim target under the environment Act would remain for 2020 at 40 per cent at least.


[151]   Mr Davies: Yes, but we will need to think through the process in establishing the regulations around the interim targets and the regulations what the particular target for 2020 will be. So, yes, it’ll remain for the time being as we develop more detailed modelling around the appropriate pathways.


[152]   David Melding: Yes, but, if you’ve got a problem with the modelling, that would apply—because ‘not all the levers are devolved’, that applies to the 2050 target as well, doesn’t it?


[153]   Mr Davies: Well, the modelling depends on what we count in within the scope of the carbon budgets and the targets that we apply. They might not necessarily be absolutely the same as what we’re currently counting, and that is something that we will be working on.


[154]   David Melding: I think our researchers will have to look at this very, very carefully.


[155]   Mark Reckless: But do we expect to hit that 40 per cent target, and, if not, would it not be more appropriate to have a target that you could stretch policy, potentially, to achieving?


[156]   Mr Davies: I think that’s something that we can look at as we develop our modelling and prepare the various pathways towards decarbonisation. We need to think, in preparing those pathways and the budgets, what the most appropriate model is, not just simply from an environmental perspective, but, given the well-being of future generations Act, what the social and economic impacts on various sectors might be as well.


[157]   Mr Quinn: We have a very powerful new piece of legislation here. I think that, in particular, what we’ll see more of is the modelling of the individual sector pathways, so that you’ve got much more of a sense of what can happen quickly in some areas and more slowly in others.


[158]   Mark Reckless: I see Simon, Sian and Jenny indicate. I wonder: could I ask are any of the three of you following up on the climate change or—?


[159]   Jenny Rathbone: Climate change.


[160]   Mark Reckless: Climate change. So, perhaps, Jenny, Sian, Simon.


[161]   Jenny Rathbone: Okay. Specifically, you mention in your paper that you want to see an increase in the role for local generation and supply. How do you think you’re going to manage to do that, given that the Wales Bill, as currently drafted, is not giving us devolution of generation, supply, storage and all these important issues? That’s one. Secondly, obviously, one of the main sources of carbon emissions is from agriculture. How are we going to this tackle that in the context of all the other uncertainties around agriculture that we’ve already discussed?


[162]   Lesley Griffiths: In relation to the Wales Bill, obviously, we very much welcome the proposals that they’ve put forward to devolve planning consents for energy developments under 350 MW. I think there are a number of outstanding issues, shall we say, that are having to be continued to be had with the UK Government, so that’s something that we can take forward.


[163]   In relation to agriculture, I think, again, that’s something that we need to ensure that the sector recognises that this is an issue, and I think it’s about balancing—you know, having that resilient, sustainable sector alongside the environmental requirements. We talked about EU directives before; I think that’s one aspect where we can look to strengthen, if needs be, if we think there are difficulties with reaching our targets. I don’t know if—. Those are discussions I presume that officials have as well in relation to—.


[164]   Jenny Rathbone: Well, we’re talking about a third of emissions, I think.


[165]   Mr Slade: Yes. This is a big issue for the agriculture strategic partnership group, which brings together the sector with Government and other partners to drive things forward. I don’t see any point in us moving forward on any of this stuff, including the post-Brexit work, unless we’re linking it all together. It’s back to Prys’s point about a decarbonisation programme, although, in the case of agriculture, it’s not so much about carbon; it’s about other things that the sector is putting out. And it’s got to be part of an integrated solution under the well-being and future generations Act to the future of agriculture in our rural areas. We recognise it’s an issue within the Government system. So, I’ve got a small team—they’ll probably complain at the term I’ve used, because it’s one and a half people—but we’ve got somebody pulled out of the day job, if you like, in order to focus in on this with the partnership group and support Prys and colleagues on tackling this particular element of the climate change problem.


[166]   Dr Glossop: Could I just add there another way of linking together all the worlds that sit with this Cabinet Secretary? Improving the health status of our cattle herd and our sheep flock will improve the efficiency. So, we can actually, technically, keep fewer animals to produce the same amount of milk or meat. So, that’s just an example of where, in our framework for animal health and welfare, one of the objectives is to support Wales having a good-quality environment. So, we have to see this in the round. We can’t see it as separate pieces.




[167]   Mr Quinn: There are also opportunities in this area of agriculture, in terms of carbon in soil and carbon in trees. We are supporting, as I mentioned, payment for ecosystem services; that’s an evolving market. A lot of this is actually beneficial on farm as well, so whether it’s renewables on farm that you put in, or using your waste materials. So, a lot of this makes sense. It’s just making it easier for people to do it.


[168]   Mr Slade: And it is a core part of the rural development programme too.


[169]   Mark Reckless: Thank you. Sian.


[170]   Sian Gwenllian: Rwyf am fynd yn ôl at y targed hwn o 40 y cant, yr oeddem ni’n ei drafod ychydig eiliadau yn ôl. Rwy’n meddwl ei bod hi’n bwysig ofnadwy cadw at y targed. Nid wyf yn meddwl mai rholio’r targed yn ôl a’i wneud yn llai oherwydd nad ydym yn medru ei gyrraedd yw’r ateb. Yn hytrach, yr ateb yw canfod pam nad ydym yn gallu ei gyrraedd a beth yn union yw’r rhwystrau, a drilio i lawr i ddeall beth yw’r rhwystrau hynny a beth y medrwn ei wneud i symud rhai o’r rhwystrau hynny. Rwy’n derbyn bod rhai pethau y tu hwnt i’n gallu ni yng Nghymru; mae pethau na fedrwn eu rheoli. Ond, o ran y pethau sydd o fewn ein gallu i reoli, beth fedrwn ni ei wneud, a beth y dylwn ni fod yn edrych arnynt yn benodol rŵan er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr ein bod yn fwy cyson o ran cyrraedd y targed? 

Sian Gwenllian: I want to return to the target of 40 per cent, which we discussed a little earlier. I do believe that it’s very important that we adhere to that target. I don’t think that there should be any rolling back of that target because we can’t reach it. I think the answer is to find out why we might not be able to reach that target and what the barriers exactly are, and to drill down to understand what those barriers might be and what we might do to overcome some of those barriers. I accept that some things might, perhaps, be outwith our control, and that we might not be able to control them. But, in terms of those things that we can manage and control, what can we do, and what should we be looking at specifically now to ensure that we are more consistent in reaching that target?


[171]   Mr Davies: Cyn imi ddod yn ôl ar y pwynt hwnnw’n benodol, ar gyfer pob cylch o’r broses cyllideb garbon, bydd disgwyl inni sefydlu a chyhoeddi dogfen yn amlinellu’r polisïau a’r rhaglenni a fydd yn ein galluogi ni i gwrdd â’r gyllideb yna. Bydd y rhieni’n cynnwys pethau sydd wedi’u datganoli, ond hefyd meysydd lle’r ydym yn disgwyl i eraill—er enghraifft, Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Gyfunol—gyfrannu tuag at y broses lle nad oes gennym y teclynnau priodol. Felly, byddwn yn amlinellu mewn mwy o fanylder, ym mhob rhan o’r cylch cyllideb garbon, beth yn union yr ydym ni am ei wneud ond beth yr ydym yn disgwyl i eraill i wneud i’n galluogi ni i gwrdd â’r gyllideb honno.


Mr Davies: Before I come back on that point specifically, for every cycle of the carbon emissions process, we will be expected to publish a document outlining the policies and the programmes that will enable us to meet that budget. Those will include things that have been devolved and also areas where we expect others—for example, the UK Government—to contribute to the process where we don’t have the right instruments. So, we will be outlining in more detail, in every part of the carbon budget cycle, what we are expected to do and what we expect others to do in order for us to reach that budget. 

[172]   Sian Gwenllian: Ie, ond beth yr ydych chi’n eu gweld fel y rhwystrau penodol, felly? Ym mha ran o’r cylch hwnnw y mae’r rhwystr?


Sian Gwenllian: Yes, but what do you believe are the specific barriers? In what part of the cycle do the barriers arise?

[173]   Mr Davies: Ar hyn o bryd, mae sawl elfen benodol. Os ydych yn edrych ar y targed o 40 y cant, a pham nad ydym yn cwrdd â’r targed hwnnw, mae’n gallu amrywio’n sylweddol tuag at bethau penodol, er enghraifft, ein bod yn cael gaeaf oer. Rydym wedi cael dau aeaf oer, ac mae hynny wedi amharu’n sylweddol ar y targed. Hefyd, rydym wedi adeiladu blast furnace newydd yng ngwaith Tata ym Mhort Talbot, ac mae hynny’n golygu bod cynnydd sylweddol wedi bod mewn un flwyddyn yn yr allyriadau. Felly, mae ystod o resymau pam nad ydym yn eu cwrdd. Mae rhai ohonynt yn faterion datganoledig, ac mae rhai ohonynt y tu allan i’n cyfrifoldeb ni.


Mr Davies: At the moment, there are a number of specific elements. If you look at the 40 per cent target, and why we’re not meeting that target, it can vary significantly in respect of specific things, for example, that we have a very cold winter. We have had a few of those and that has affected the target. Also, we’ve built a new blast furnace in Port Talbot, and that means that there has been an increase in one year in the emissions. So, there is a range of reasons why we are not meeting those. Some of those are devolved issues, and others are outside our responsibility.

[174]   Lesley Griffiths: I will be meeting all my Cabinet colleagues before Christmas to talk about carbon budgets within their portfolios. I think that it is really important, if we are going to tackle this issue of climate change. I need to know what they are doing to embed this into their own portfolios. I think I should start with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.


[175]   Simon Thomas: And the M4.


[176]   Mark Reckless: Simon, you also, I think, had a question on this area.


[177]   Simon Thomas: Sian asked my question; that’s fine. [Laughter.]


[178]   Mark Reckless: I will move to Vikki, then.


[179]   Vikki Howells: It’s not related to climate change, Chair.


[180]   Mark Reckless: No problem. We can move on.


[181]   Vikki Howells: Obviously, this is recycling week, so I thought it would be quite remiss of us as a committee if we didn’t ask you a question related to recycling. The published recycling rates for 2015-16 show that Welsh councils are hitting their targets; in fact, some—like my own, RCT—are actually exceeding them, which is great news. But some authorities have decreased their rates slightly, so I was wondering what consideration the Welsh Government has given as to why this was the case, and also how we can try and roll out best practice from those councils that are performing well to those that might benefit from a helping hand.


[182]   Lesley Griffiths: I think you are absolutely right. It is recycle week, and we are having a focus on unusual suspects. So, people perhaps don’t think they can throw the bleach bottle—an empty one, obviously—into the plastic recycling. So, it’s about looking outside the kitchen. I think that has been a really good focus. It would be great if colleagues could do press releases and get out there. You’re right; we think we’ve got a really good story to tell in Wales on recycling. If we were done on an individual country, we’d be fourth in Europe, which I think is really good. Some local authorities are better than others. You asked about best practice: I actually visited Conwy to see what they do, because their targets are excellent and they use the blueprint for their recycling—the blueprint collection. I think, whilst we’ve got a good story to tell, what local authorities need to do is share that best practice but also look at—. They reckon, in the black waste bin or bag, 50 per cent of that could be recycled. So, I think we need to do a bit more work to find out what that 50 per cent is and how we can get that recycled. Maybe that’s public awareness. The issue around best practice—and I’ve met with Andrew Morgan, the leader of RCT, to discuss this—is that people think it doesn’t travel very well. Well, I disagree. I think it should be out there and something you can steal. Some local authorities do it differently. So, maybe they need to look, if they’re doing it differently, at whether they can then show that it’s better. I know there’s been a bit of concern from colleagues that we haven’t fined local authorities that haven’t met their targets. I’m now looking to see what we could do. Maybe that wouldn’t be the tool to make them better. I don’t know. We need to look at what we could do to encourage them. We do support local authorities very well in relation to them meeting their recycling targets.


[183]   Simon Thomas: Just briefly on this. Local authorities are dealing with waste. How do we stop the waste in the first place? I live in Ceredigion. It’s the highest-rated local authority for recycling, so I’ll give a plug there. I am utterly frustrated, as somebody who wants to recycle. Time and time again I go into a shop, buy something—I’ve got no choice; it’s pre-packaged—and that packaging is not recyclable. How is it still possible to sell something in a shop in Wales that isn’t recyclable? If we want to close this gap, we have to stop that. If there’s one benefit of coming out of the EU, it must be that we can have our own rules about these matters as well. Is that something that you’d like to see achieved in Wales?


[184]   Lesley Griffiths: I mentioned that packaging and labelling are two areas that I would like to look at very closely. As you say, it’s very frustrating. Sometimes, when you receive something from online shopping, say, in a very large box and it’s a very little item, it’s so frustrating even though you can recycle that.


[185]   Simon Thomas: It’s still waste.


[186]   Lesley Griffiths: It’s still waste. To go back to what I was saying about the 50 per cent in the black bag, how can we encourage the public to look at that waste that they still throw into the black bin bag? Somebody raised a question yesterday in the Chamber—it was Darren Millar—about the four-weekly collection for black bags. If you’re recycling properly, your black bin perhaps isn’t going to be full and doesn’t need emptying as frequently. So, I think we need to look at—. That’s probably more about continuing education with the public. When I was in school I knew nothing about recycling, but when my children went through school—and I think that’s where it started; I think it started with younger people. Very political. Young people say they’re not political. I always give them recycling as an example, because I think it started in schools and with young people then going home to speak to their family.


[187]   Simon Thomas: And probably with Blue Peter as well.


[188]   Lesley Griffiths: Blue Peter?


[189]   Simon Thomas: Blue Peter, yes. The point is that these young people are now working in these companies that are still producing packaging that is not recyclable. As a long-term thing, we have to stop it.


[190]   Mr Slade: And there’s commercial potential and innovation in all this to assist in economic terms. So, IBERS—again, Ceredigion—is doing a great deal of important work around grass-based packaging, and they’re plugged in, I think, through our food and drink action plans—the work about the circular economy within the food and drink sector. So, there are lots of opportunities here from a kind of commercial and economic perspective too.


[191]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, absolutely.


[192]   Mark Reckless: Simon, did you have another area where you wanted question?


[193]   Simon Thomas: Yes, a different area.


[194]   Mark Reckless: Well, shall we take your question now?


[195]   Simon Thomas: I symud ymlaen, felly, at rywbeth cwbl wahanol, sef moroedd Cymru. Rwy’n meddwl ein bod ni i gyd, gobeithio, o’r farn bod moroedd Cymru yn hollbwysig yn amgylcheddol, ond hefyd ar gyfer twristiaeth a datblygu’r economi, yn ogystal. A fedrwch chi esbonio pam nad oes gennym ni gynllun morol cenedlaethol eto yng Nghymru?


Simon Thomas: Moving on, therefore, to something entirely different, which is the marine environment in Wales. I hope that we are all of the opinion that those environments are vitally important in terms of the environment and to develop the economy and tourism as well. Can you talk about why we don’t have a current marine plan yet?


[196]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, it’s being brought forward.


[197]   Simon Thomas: It’s been ‘being brought forward’ for a long, long time.


[198]   Lesley Griffiths: I know. But you’ll appreciate that I am quite new in portfolio. I had a meeting, actually, this week. Marine planning is a relatively new concept, but I think it’s really important that we do have that policy because people are planning activities in Welsh waters, and I think it’s really important that we have that document to be able to give people a very clear direction. I have fed into the Hendry review, but I want the plan to take into account the Hendry review. I’m meeting Charles Hendry next week—I think it might be a week today—to discuss tidal lagoons, for instance. So, I think I will be publishing a draft plan; it probably will be now in the summer of next year.


[199]   Simon Thomas: Mae hynny’n siom i fi. Rwy’n deall y pwynt ynglŷn â morlynnoedd, ond mae yna wastad rhywbeth i gymryd i ystyriaeth. Rydych chi’n dweud bod hwn yn concept newydd, ond mae’n deillio o Ddeddf nôl yn 2009, ac mae rhai o’r problemau rydym ni’n eu hwynebu yng Nghymru ar hyn o bryd—rydym wedi gweld datganiad gan y Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn ddiweddar ynglŷn ag erlyn pysgotwyr a oedd yn pysgota yn anghyfreithlon, er enghraifft—yn deillio o’r ffaith nad oes cynllun, bod yna anghysondeb rhwng beth y mae pysgotwyr yn moyn, beth y mae amgylcheddwyr yn moyn, beth y mae rhai pobl yn teimlo sy’n bwysig i’r amgylchedd, a’r angen i warchod rhywogaethau, megis y llamidyddion, ac ati, sydd wedyn yn bwysig i dwristiaeth, yn eu tro. Rwy’n derbyn nad ydych chi’n mynd i’w frysio fe achos fy mod yn gofyn cwestiwn mewn pwyllgor, ond beth, yn y cyfamser, ydych chi’n mynd i wneud i sicrhau ein bod ni’n arwain ar y cynllun morol, achos mae’r môr mor bwysig i gymaint o Gymru ac mor hanfodol i fywyd Cymru hefyd, yn ei ffordd? Yn ategol i hynny, gan fod yr hyn yr oeddem yn ceisio ei wneud—nad yw wedi ei gyflawni eto—yn seiliedig ar ddeddfwriaeth Ewropeaidd, a oes yna oedi pellach yn mynd i ddigwydd oherwydd y bleidlais i adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd? Rwy’n gobeithio eich bod chi’n gallu rhoi cadarnhad bod y dyddiad yn yr haf yn un sy’n mynd i gael ei gadw.


Simon Thomas: I’m disappointed by that. I understand the point about lagoons, but there is always something to consider in these plans, isn’t there? You say that this is a new concept, but it goes back to the 2009 legislation, and some of the problems that we face in Wales at present—and there was the statement by the Counsel General about the prosecution of fishermen who were fishing illegally recently, for example—stem from the fact that there’s no scheme, that there is inconsistency between what fishermen want, what environmentalists want, what other people think is important for the environment, and the need to safeguard and protect species such as harbour porpoises, and so on, which are very important for tourism, and so on. I accept the fact that you’re not going to rush this because I’ve asked a question in committee, but what are you going to do to ensure that we do lead on a marine plan, because the seas are so important for Wales and so vital to life in Wales in their way? In addition to that, because what we were trying to do, which hasn’t been achieved yet, was based on European legislation, is there going to be further delay now because of the referendum result to leave the European Union? I would hope that you would give us confirmation that that date in the summer will be adhered to.

[200]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes; Andrew was just saying that Brexit is part of the problem here, and I think that it right. But, I am really keen to maintain momentum and progress on the plan, despite the uncertainties surrounding the EU transition. I would have liked to have done it earlier. I haven’t read it from cover to cover, but it is being drafted now. If we can go earlier than next summer, then I will do that, but I think it is really important that we do have that direction. Maybe after I’ve met Charles Hendry next week—. I do want the outcome of his review to feed into it, so it depends how quickly we can do that.


[201]   Mark Reckless: And for other Members who want to meet Charles Hendry, I’m hosting a meeting with him next Tuesday morning at 8.30 a.m. in Tŷ Hywel.


[202]   Lesley Griffiths: Perhaps it’s Tuesday I’m meeting him, then, not Wednesday.


[203]   Mark Reckless: I think it’s the same morning.


[204]   Mr Slade: Because competence is shared on some elements of the plan, we’ll need to have UK Government Cabinet sign-off on this as well. So, that’s part of the process. But, the timetable that the Minister has outlined picks up the fact that Brexit has intervened, and we need to think about some of the elements of the plan for the longer term, because this is something that is going, we hope, to transcend 2019, or whenever we actually get to the point of leaving the EU.


[205]   Just to reassure you on fisheries, the fisheries legislation is firmly in place through the common fisheries policy for at least as long as we’re part of the European Union. But, of the 5,000 legislative instruments that the Minister mentioned earlier, 1,400 plus are in the fisheries and marine area, and that is a massive piece of work for us to do, whether on our own or even with London and colleagues elsewhere around the UK.


[206]   David Melding: But they remain in force until you change them.


[207]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes.


[208]   Mr Slade: They do, but it’s thinking about what happens, particularly for direct regulation, where we operate on instruments that come straight from Brussels that we don’t transpose; when we’re out of the European Union, they fall, and we need to be ready for that moment.


[209]   Mark Reckless: If I could go to Jenny and then Huw for quick interventions, and then Jayne will finish the questioning.


[210]   Jenny Rathbone: Just on enforcement, surely that’s the biggest issue: whatever’s in your new plan, there are a lot of outlaws out there who are clearly breaking the law. Sometimes they’re getting pathetic fines, which don’t act in any way as a disincentive to going on doing it. Also, there’s the number of boats we have to police our coastal waters.


[211]   Lesley Griffiths: You are quite right, enforcement’s very important. I’ve been out on the enforcement boat. We are having some new boats. I think that’s absolutely required. I don’t have powers over the fines, but clearly, talking to the enforcement officers, that’s something that does concern them.


[212]   Mark Reckless: Huw.


[213]   Huw Irranca-Davies: I suddenly felt my age—and Simon was absolutely right to raise this—because for the 2009 Act, we sat for 13 weeks in committee, taking it through, the England-and-Wales Bill. I really do understand that Brexit has now knocked it back temporarily, and it is important to get it right, but could I just urge the Cabinet Secretary to make sure that it is right? What I mean by that is: this was never intended to be a pure fisheries, or pure dredging, or pure oil and gas, or pure—. It is meant to be the absolute balance in terms of spatial planning for the marine environment.




[214]   Huw Irranca-Davies: As I look at some of the difficult roll-out as well within England, sometimes that balance has been right, sometimes it hasn’t quite been right. So, when you do come up with the absolute right solution—take a little bit of time, but get it absolutely right. I think we are all looking forward to it—that balance being the optimal balance for protecting the marine environment and exploiting the resource in that marine environment as well in different ways. It’s got to be right. We could lead if we get this plan right. We could be leading England and leading Scotland, but leading the world as well, by being the first nation to have this in place and the right balance. So, please, take a little bit of time, but get it right.


[215]   Lesley Griffiths: You see, you can’t please all the people all the time, can you? [Laughter.]


[216]   Simon Thomas: I want a speedboat, and he’s happy to pedal. [Laughter.]


[217]   Mark Reckless: I’m looking forward to our marine trip next Thursday. If I could—Jayne, some questions from you to close.


[218]   Jayne Bryant: As somebody who was radicalised by Blue Peter, aged 10, about recycling, I do feel very strongly about it. I recently spent a day with the RSPCA, going round with the animal welfare officer there, and I was pleased to see the work that they do around animal health, well-being and the information that they provide people with. They work very closely with the local authority. Last year the Deputy Minister commissioned a review into responsible dog ownership in Wales, and I was just wondering: do we have a timescale for that, for the implementation of the review? Also, on a separate point, have you evaluated the reduction in the Assembly’s competence in the Wales Bill around dogs and the reduction in the Assembly’s competence on dangerous dogs and dogs out of control?


[219]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay, in relation to the review—very grateful to the RSPCA for doing that for us—and what I’ve asked Christianne to do, I think it should be extended beyond just dogs. I think it should be extended, so we're having a look at that. I’ve also asked Christianne, since I came into post—we’re having a look at all the codes of practice relating to a variety of animals. So, I haven’t got a date as yet, but that work is ongoing. In relation to competence, no, I haven’t, but it’s something that I’ll be very happy to look at and sent a note to the committee Chair.


[220]   Jayne Bryant: Can I just ask one quick question, sorry? The other one about the range of exotic species, I’ve noticed—I did a quick Google search just in my area about what you can buy on the internet, you know, very cheaply, actually. There were eagle owls and chameleons, and many snakes were available. I saw, I think it was last week, there was a chameleon that was found in Cardiff Bay that was in particularly bad condition that somebody had obviously had and then let run freely, and it had to be put down, sadly. But what is your assessment of the current situation and have you looked at good practice, because I believe Scotland are looking into this as well, and how we can move forward on it?


[221]   Lesley Griffiths: I know Christianne is in discussions with Scotland, and England, actually, on this, so—.


[222]   Dr Glossop: Yes, and my colleague the chief veterinary officer for Scotland, Sheila Voas, has got very strong views about the kind of animals that make the right kind of pets. But this links in with a bigger piece on responsible animal ownership. I think it’s why it’s very wise for us not to just focus on dogs, because if I could just—. As an example, the rabbit is the third most popular pet in Wales, and they could potentially be the most abused animals, because they’re bought, they’re at the bottom of the garden in a hut and people forget them after Christmas or whatever. So, this is about anyone who takes on the privilege of owning an animal, whether it’s for food production, for sport, for work or for companionship, understanding what’s needed and making sure that they recognise their own responsibilities. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 does cover all of that, but, obviously, each species has very specific needs, and we don’t want to hear stories like that of the chameleon found in Cardiff Bay. That’s not right. But it’s equally not right for an overweight Labrador to be huffing and puffing up a hill. We need to get people educated, and we talked about it starting at school. We’ve got quite an interest in engaging young people in this process—


[223]   David Melding: We can lead the UK.


[224]   Dr Glossop: I think we do already. [Laughter.]


[225]   Mark Reckless: On which note, thank you. Can I remind Members that we have an informal briefing from the RSPB, who are coming in to tell us about their ‘State of Nature’ report, for no more than 10 minutes, followed by a sandwich lunch for those who would like to stay? May I thank the Minister and her team very much indeed for what I thought was an enlightening session? I’m glad we focused on a small number of areas from the very comprehensive portfolio.


[226]   Lesley Griffiths: Thank you.


[227]   Mark Reckless: Thank you. I close the session.


Daeth y cyfarfod i ben am 12:34.
The meeting ended at 12:34.