NEW APPOINTMENT WELCOMED BY FUW

LESLEY GRIFFITHS: New environment and rural affairs Cabinet Secretary

LESLEY GRIFFITHS: New environment and rural affairs Cabinet Secretary

The FUW welcomed the appointment of Lesley Griffiths as the new environment and rural affairs Cabinet Secretary – following its call for the appointment of a full cabinet member with responsibility for rural affairs. Lesley Griffiths was brought up in North east Wales and has lived and worked in Wrexham all her adult life. She has 2 daughters and has served as a school governor and community councillor. She worked at the Wrexham Maelor hospital for 20 years. Prior to her election Mrs Griffiths worked as constituency assistant to Ian Lucas, MP. As a strong supporter of devolution for Wales, she played an active role in the 1997 ‘Yes for Wales’ campaign. She is a member of Unison. Mrs Griffiths was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2007 and served on several Assembly Committees. She set up and chaired the Cross Party hospice Group and in December 2009 she was appointed deputy minister for science, innovation and skills. Following re-election to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2011, Lesley Griffiths was appointed minister for health and social services. In March 2013 she was appointed minister for local government and government business and in September 2014, was appointed minister for communities and tackling poverty. Outside of politics, her main hobbies are music, walking and watching Wrexham Football Club. Lesley is formerly an elected director of the Wrexham Supporters Trust. “I am delighted to be appointed Cabinet Secretary for environment and rural affairs. My first priority will be meeting with and listening to the views of the agriculture industry and the wider supply chain. “I want to do this as soon as possible in order to learn more about the challenges facing the sector, as well as the many opportunities. “I look forward to getting started in this new role and to work with the industry to ensure agriculture in Wales has the prosperous future we all want to see,” said Mrs Griffiths. Speaking about her appointment FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “Agriculture and rural affairs are key to our economy, and central to addressing and dealing with the major challenges of our generation. “The FUW looks forward to working closely with the new Government in order to ensure priorities are met for rural Wales and Wales as a whole and we welcome the fact that our call for the appointment of a full cabinet member with responsibility for rural affairs has been heeded. “With issues such as climate change and water management dominating agendas such as those listed in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, we are pleased to see Mrs Griffiths has been appointed to fight for the interests of our rural communities – communities for which agriculture is a cornerstone,” he added. Mr Roberts said the previous call tied in with the FUW’s vision of a Rural Powerhouse for Wales which recognises the central role agriculture and rural areas must play in addressing the challenges of the future, while ensuring the focus does not just fall on the M4 and A55 corridors. “I have written to Mrs Griffiths to congratulate her on her appointment and have asked for an early meeting in order to discuss those issues which are of concern to farmers and have an impact on all aspects of her portfolio,” he added. Under the previous Welsh administration the agricultural portfolio was moved between ministers and deputy ministers a number of times following Welsh cabinet reshuffles. “We have outlined our key concerns for the agricultural industry in our 2016 election manifesto and hope to see the new environment and rural affairs Cabinet Secretary deal with critical issues such as bovine TB and Nitrate Vulnerable Zones as a matter of urgency,” added Mr Roberts.

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