Closing the Wales Rural Observatory ‘irresponsible’ says Antoinette Sandbach AM

Welsh Conservatives have labelled a decision to close the Wales Rural Observatory ‘irresponsible’ and ‘reckless’.

North Wales Assembly Member Antoinette Sandbach has received confirmation that Labour ministers are scrapping the research body.

 

The observatory was set up in 2003 to collate, study and present data on rural Wales. It collates independent research on social, economic and environmental issues

 

Ms Sandbach, who has previously campaigned for the retention of the observatory – and uncovered its closure - said: “This is an irresponsible move that has hamstrung rural proofing in Wales.

“Services are already poor in rural areas. Losing this work will only make them worse.

“There are a number of observatory reports yet to be published.

“Following today’s closure, I fear they were not good news for Labour’s handling of rural services.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Russell George AM, said: “This is a reckless decision that will see rural communities lose out.

“The observatory had a crucial role to play in guaranteeing Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour addressed the needs of rural communities.

“Scrapping it is a mistake that dismisses those needs.

“The provision of Labour-run services in rural Wales is already ineffective. This will do nothing to improve it.”