Simon Thomas AM

MID and West AM Simon Thomas has welcomed the Welsh Government has drawn back from proposals that would have changed the statutory purposes of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty.

Last summer, Plaid Cymru won the unanimous agreement of the National Assembly that any change in the legislation governing National Parks should be taken through the National Assembly as primary legislation.

Following pressure from Plaid Cymru, the Minister for Environment made a statement today conceding all current existing Designated Landscapes will be retained and their purpose of conserving and enhancing natural beauty will not be weakened.

Shadow Minister for Environment & Rural Affairs Simon Thomas AM said: “This is a glowing example of Plaid Cymru successfully securing stability in ensuring that Designated Landscapes, through our beautiful National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are protected.

“Following the concerning and dismally-conducted Future Landscapes working group headed by Dafydd Elis Thomas, I am pleased that the Minister for Environment has now listened to the very valid concerns raised by the sector.

“Plaid Cymru has consistently aimed to conserve and enhance our environment, while maintaining open and transparent processes. Last summer, we won the unanimous agreement of the National Assembly that any change in the legislation governing National Parks should be taken through the Assembly as primary legislation.

“We still, however, need to invest to nurture our landscapes and so it is deeply disappointing to see that financial support for our three largest parks is set to plummet to its lowest level since 2001. Given that these Designated Landscapes cover a quarter of Wales, the lack of support is totally unacceptable.

“A Plaid Cymru Government would ensure that our designated landscapes are best equipped to meet current and future challenges while building on their internationally recognised status.”

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