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County farms management praised

Seven point plan: Pembrokeshire has been recognised for excellent management
Seven point plan: Pembrokeshire has been recognised for excellent management

THE TENANT Farmers Association has commended Pembrokeshire County Council for producing a forward looking program for its county farm estates.

Following a review of its county farms estate , Pembrokeshire has come forward with a seven point plan which will allow the estate to make a significant contribution to the Pembrokeshire agricultural sector, whilst maximising revenue to the local authority both through income generation and capital receipts.

TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said “In all of our dealings with local authorities we encourage them to take a sound asset management approach to maximise opportunity both for individuals to be farmers in their own account and in the harvesting of value for wider use within the local authority. It seems to me that in its review Pembrokeshire has struck the right balance here. Our only concern is the halving of the annual budget for ongoing management of the estate which may have consequences into the long term”.

“Pembrokeshire’s decision is in stark contrast to the terrible decision taken by Herefordshire County Council just a few weeks before. Against all of the advice to the Cabinet including by its own Overview and Scrutiny committee, Herefordshire Council has decided to divest itself of its estate doing huge damage to the agricultural sector in Herefordshire and without due regard to obtaining best value for Council tax payers,” said Mr Dunn.

“It’s a real shame that some of the expertise in Pembrokeshire has not transferred across Offa’s Dyke into Herefordshire which is in my view guilty of gross mismanagement. For example, a barn ripe for development near Ledbury which has had planning permission in place for some time, has spent the last five years languishing under scaffolding and tarpaulins going nowhere. Council tax payers are being denied the value that could be obtained from such a development and other potential developments across the Herefordshire estate,” said Mr Dunn.