Home » Mid and South Pembrokeshire election candidates’ views on farming and countryside
Farming Pembrokeshire Politics West Wales

Mid and South Pembrokeshire election candidates’ views on farming and countryside

AHEAD of the July 4 general election, Mid and South Pembrokeshire general election hopefuls have outlined what they will do the support farming and the countryside.

As part of constituency changes, bits of north Pembrokeshire – including St Davids and– are joining the new Mid and South Pembrokeshire constituency.

Mid and South Pembrokeshire covers Letterston, Solva and St Davids down to Hundleton and Tenby, stretching eastwards to Amroth, Narberth and Lampeter Velfrey.

Mid and South Pembrokeshire (Pic: Boundary Commission for Wales)

Other parts of the north of the county are now in the new Ceredigion Preseli constituency; which extends up past Aberystwyth and also includes Cilgerran, Crymych, St Dogmaels, Fishguard and Llanrhian.

There’s now a 15-candidate battle for the two seats, eight in Mid and South Pembrokeshire and seven in Ceredigion Preseli.

With a July 4 date set for the general election, the currently declared candidates for Mid and South Pembrokeshire are: Hanna Andersen (Women’s Equality Party); Alistair Cameron (Welsh Liberal Democrats); Stephen Crabb (Welsh Conservative); Stuart Marchant (Reform UK); James Purchase (Green Party); Vusi Siphika (Independent); Cris Tomos (Plaid Cymru); and Henry Tufnell (Welsh Labour).

Liberal Democrat candidate Alistair Cameron said: “Our farmers have a key role in ensuring that everyone can get affordable, healthy and nutritious food produced to high welfare and environmental standards. We must ensure that all imported food meets UK standards for health and welfare, and that goods are properly checked.

“Liberal Democrats would renegotiate the Australia and New Zealand trade agreements in line with our objectives for health, environmental and animal welfare standards, withdrawing from them if that cannot be achieved.

“I am pleased the Welsh Government is reviewing its proposed farm payment scheme as we need a fairer scheme.

“As a county councillor, I want to ensure that our planning policies safeguard and preserve our beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside whilst at the same time enabling people to make a decent living sustainably. “

online casinos UK

Green Party candidate James Purchase said: “The Green Party will push for the financial support for farmers to be almost tripled. These payments will be linked to the reduction of pesticides and various agro-chemicals.

“It’s our food system that’s failing us – not farmers. Farmers must be fully supported in their transition to nature friendly farming – not shamed and blamed. Remember: land owners are not necessarily farmers. Poor diets are estimated to cost the NHS £6.5 billion a year and successive governments have failed to take on the unhealthy food lobby. I lived and worked on a large farm in Pembs for 20 yrs and, though not a farmer, witnessed the radical changes that had to be made to survive. The Green Party will work with farmers and other stakeholders to transform our food and farming systems.”

Hanna Andersen said: “The deep cuts to our public services mean that swathes of rural areas have lost local access care.

“I will champion local services which are accessible to all, are run for the needs of the communities they serve and are inclusive to everyone. This means working with rural communities in particular to ensure they have access to the care they need.

“I am also committed to working with farming communities to facilitate a fair and just transition to climate friendly farming, prioritising food security for local people.”

Labour candidate Henry Tufnell said: “I come from a farming family, and it was an integral part of my life growing up. A key priority for me therefore is to facilitate that positive working relationship between the rural community and the Welsh Government.

“Furthermore, the farming community in Pembrokeshire needs a government in Westminster that recognises food security is national security, extends the new veterinary agreement to cover all the UK thereby removing export barriers, harnesses our diplomatic and trade networks to champion Welsh farming whilst protecting the environment, and sets a target for half of all food purchased across the public sector to be locally produced or certified to higher environmental standards.”

Conservative candidate Stephen Crabb said: “Farming is the backbone of the Pembrokeshire economy. When Pembrokeshire farming is doing well, our whole county does well.

“I am clear that food production must remain at the heart of agricultural policy, and I opposed Welsh Labour’s plans for removing 10 per cent of agricultural land for tree planting. I have a strong track record of standing up for Pembrokeshire’s farming community, fighting for fairer milk prices and a strong Supermarket Ombudsman to get a better deal for farmers.

“I will continue to challenge Welsh Labour’s failure to tackle Bovine TB which is causing high levels of stress and anxiety to farmers. I will also continue to campaign for lower fuel taxes, more affordable housing for Pembrokeshire people, and better rural transport connections.”

Reform’s Stuart Marchant said: “It seems to me that our farmers have been let down and are continually being let down. The Senedd is responsible for farming within Wales but in my view they are not held to account properly. I would expect to be the voice of my constituents and I would not be afraid to hold the Senedd to account vocally.

“Reform UK are also the only party that promises to increase the UK’s farming budget to £3 billion. Money that would then be issued by the Senedd within Wales but I would expect to closely monitor.

“I am also a believer in transport links. Our constituency is not well served by rail or road and I would expect to voice frequent and often calls for vast improvements to our rail links and roads.”

Independent Vusi Siphika said: “Farming and agriculture is an agenda with many intricacies. The government needs to stop dismantling farmland hectare by hectare, placing conditions on subsidies and trust farmers to do what they know – feed the nation!

“Mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure our farmers get paid a fairer price. Supermarkets need to pay our farmers more.

“Farmer poverty is a reality which must end.  Farmers need government support to find modern solutions of farming that can still maintain levels of yield in production but protect the very land they work for generations to come.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos said: “Plaid Cymru is on the side of Welsh farming as the sector has faced serious challenges from both the Conservatives in Westminster, and Labour in Cardiff. Years of Tory economic chaos has contributed to huge rises in farm input costs and Westminster’s post-Brexit trade deals have allowed more cheap imports to undermine domestic markets.

“The Tories promised ‘not a penny less’ in farm funding to Wales, yet we have been left hundreds of millions of pounds worse off due to this broken promise. £243m is the estimate.

“I believe Wales should have a veto over future trade deals that undermine Welsh agricultural communities. I also opposed Labour’s Sustainable Farming Scheme in the Senedd, which called for 10% tree cover on all farms.”