Rural counties in Wales will need enhanced support to prepare for the big changes brought by Brexit, council leaders have said.
As members of the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM’s Brexit Roundtable Group, WLGA has been working with the Welsh Government in preparing for potential Brexit scenarios.
A report published by the Group this week has made clear that ‘change is the only certainty’ in rural communities as Wales and the UK prepare to leave the EU, and local authorities are in no doubt of their role in managing what could be seismic changes.
Councillor Rosemarie Harris (Powys), Joint WLGA Spokesperson for Rural Affairs said:
“We appreciate the inclusive approach taken by the Cabinet Secretary in preparing for Brexit, and we look forward to continue to work closer together as this work intensifies and progresses and events unfold. “
“As deliverers of services in rural communities, local authorities are ideally located to identify the needs of those communities as the UK prepares to leave the EU. As outlined in a recent report by the Public Policy Institute for Wales rural communities are more vulnerable to the challenges posed by Brexit, and local authorities must be part of all discussions on new legislative arrangements to develop coherent and holistic responses to any challenges. Farming and the agriculture sector are very important to rural economies, but we must also remember the contribution made by SMEs and big investors such as higher and further education institutions in those areas.”
Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn (Gwynedd), Joint WLGA Spokesperson for Rural Affairs said:
“As the part of government that implements around 60% of all EU legislation, local government has a unique and key interest in devising new post-Brexit governmental frameworks and to determine the direction of new policies both at the UK and Wales levels.
“The rural agenda is much broader than the important agriculture sector alone, and we must ensure that there will be adequate support for businesses and supply chains to protect rural economies as they embark on a period of unprecedented transformational change.”