- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Local AM Joyce Watson used question time in the Senedd to dispel rumours that the WAG farming offices in Dolgellau are under threat.
Labour’s Rural Affairs spokesperson Mrs Watson (Mid and West Wales) asked the Minister for Rural Affairs:
“Minister, I have had an e-mail from the Farmers’ Union of Wales telling me that concerns are being expressed about the future of the Welsh Assembly Government’s offices in Dolgellau. The offices are important to farmers in Meirionnydd, especially during submissions of the single farm payment application form, with the office open every day in the two weeks leading up to the middle of May each year. Do you agree with me that Meirionnydd farmers need easy access to an office that can answer queries and handle correspondence, and is it possible for you to provide an update on the status of that Dolgellau office?
The Minister responded:
“Yes, I can. There is no intention to change the service that is currently provided from the Dolgellau office.”
Mrs Watson was referring to this email from the FUW:-
FUW CONCERNS OVER WAG OFFICE FUTURE – 24 JANUARY 2011
The Farmers’ Union of Wales today expressed concerns over the future of the Welsh Assembly Government offices at Dolgellau.
The union’s Meirionnydd county executive officer Huw Jones has written to the head of WAG’s Caernarfon office stating members are “profoundly concerned and disappointed” to hear that questions are being raised about the future of this office.
“This office is of immense importance to farmers in Meirionnydd and any indication that there is a question as to the future presence of WAG in Dolgellau is of tremendous concern and worry,” he added.
“The vast majority of farmers in Meirionnydd use this office at some time or other, particularly during submission of Single Application Forms, with the office being open every day in the two weeks leading up to the middle of May each year.
“It is vitally important that farmers are able to present their SAF form at a local office, whereby they will obtain a receipt rather than take the risk of sending the form to the Welsh Assembly Government using the postal system.”
Farmers use the office regularly throughout the year as they deal with all farming queries and it is an important focal point to discuss queries, resolve any problems and deliver correspondence.
The Meirionnydd branch has asked the Welsh Assembly Government to consider other options so that farmers in the area may still obtain a local service from WAG.