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Welsh Government reshuffle could undermine Natural Resources Wales launch – William Powell AM

2013 Mawrth 19 3:07 PM

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Environment and Sustainable Development, has criticised the Welsh Government for potentially undermining its own commitment to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) by splitting its remit across four Ministers in Welsh Labour's new look Cabinet.

William Powell congratulated Alun Davies on his appointment as Minister for Natural Resources and Food, but expressed concern that key areas of the former Environment brief had been allocated to other Ministers.

Following last week's reshuffle, the Welsh Government have detailed portfolio responsibilities confirming that key areas of NRW's remit - such as Planning, Sustainable Development and Welsh National Parks - have been stripped from the new portfolio of the Minister's responsibilities and given to other Cabinet members.

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Member for Mid and West Wales, added:

"It is deeply worrying that on the eve of NRW's birth, core areas of activity have been stripped from its new Minister.

"Last week's reshuffle saw Planning handed over to the Minister for Housing and Regeneration [Carl Sargeant], National Parks to the Minister for Culture and Sport [John Griffiths], and most importantly Sustainable Development - often touted as the Welsh Government's central organizing principle - hived off to the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty [Huw Lewis].

"This apparent undermining of NRW just days before it comes into being is deeply worrying to all concerned. Today I will be requesting urgent statements from the relevant new Ministers detailing just how they intend to ensure that NRW gets the coherent Ministerial support it desperately needs.

"Just when NRW was intending to be a 'one-stop-shop' for environmental advice it appears clear that the Welsh Government is determined to move in the opposite direction."