Conservative Ministers fail to engage with Welsh agriculture

The Welsh Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee has criticised Conservative Ministers in Westminster for refusing to engage on agricultural policy.

Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, rejected the invitation to speak at the committee. George Eustice, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has cancelled an appearance.

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Reprieve for Recycling Centres


Powys County Council have indicated that plans to close recycling centres will be shelved for at least 12 months, saying “the public have made their views very clear”. They had been consulting on plans to close two of the five centres in Powys (Lower Cwmtwrch, Llandegley and Brecon are the three centres in Brecon & Radnorshire).

They have also indicated they will pursue other cost-saving measures, including reducing the number of days recycling centres are open, changes to trade waste permits and more restricted commercial use.

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HSBC to close branch in Knighton

HSBC have announced they will close their branch in Knighton on Friday 19 May 2017. It is part of 62 branch closures across the UK, and HSBC claim there will be no other closures in 2017. Kirsty Williams has expressed disappointment at the closure and has taken steps to try and ensure the future availability of banking services in Knighton.

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£80m New Treatments fund for Welsh patients

The Welsh Government has announced an £80m New Treatments fund. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been calling for a similar fund for a number of years - securing the Health Technologies Fund in the last Assembly term - and the news will be a welcome boost for Welsh patients.

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"Isolation risk in shutting Coelbren GP surgery"

The removal of GP services from Coelbren Health Centre, along with uncertainty over a key bus route, has led to fears that the community will be cut off. The BBC covered developments here:

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Small grant scheme for farmers

The Welsh Government has announced a £40million small grant scheme for farmers. The scheme was in the Welsh Liberal Democrat's 2016 manifesto, and formed part of the agreement between Kirsty Williams and the First Minister.

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Could you help keep Brecon tidy?

Plan Brecon are continuing to organise community litter picks in Brecon, and their dates for 2017 are here.


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Logical Systems opens in Ystradgynlais

Kirsty cut the ribbon at Logical Systems' new office in Ystradgynlais, welcoming the business in Brecon & Radnorshire.




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More rural banks to close

Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye have been hit by planned bank closures in the town. Lloyds have announced plans to close their branch in Crickhowell, while HSBC plan to close their branch in Hay-on-Wye.



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Knighton Leisure Centre given 12 month reprieve

Knighton Leisure Centre looks set to be kept open for at least another 12 months. Powys County Council have consulted on closing it, but now say they have found funding for next year's budget.

It follows a strong public campaign, and a public meeting in early November in which the Council said: "The settlement from the Welsh Government was better than we thought so hopefully now we can come up with a positive proposal regarding Knighton Leisure Centre".

Through a funding floor, Kirsty Williams prioritised the funding of rural councils in negotiations with the Welsh Government.


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