- September 1, 2017
- Posted by: Vikki Howells MS
- Category: Latest News
A group of Assembly Members met with the Welsh Government on 29th August to discuss a number of ongoing problems at Eglwysilan Common.
Mick Antoniw AM, Hefin David AM, Vikki Howells AM and Andrew RT Davies AM met with Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, to discuss how the Welsh Government could help solve problems around grazing rights; planning law; and public access and rights of way.
This follows concerns raised with them by commoners and others who use the land. People fear that unless action is taken common land could be lost not just at Eglwysilan, but across other parts of Wales too.
Common land is land that is owned by someone but which other people are allowed to use as detailed in a Commons Rights Register. Many commons are important for agriculture in Wales, providing grazing for livestock. They are also enjoyed for their leisure, and many like Eglwysilan provide vital green space between built up residential or industrial areas.
As a result of the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary undertook to write to local authorities, the Police and Natural Resources Wales to establish who exactly is responsible for what when it comes to protecting, policing and managing common land in Wales. She will then look at gaps in the existing arrangements and the ways in which they can be improved.
Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw said:-
“My constituents, along with people in neighbouring constituencies, should not be prevented from exercising their access and grazing rights on the Common.
“I am encouraged that the Cabinet Secretary has agreed to take up this long-running issue and I will continue to pursue the matter in the interests of my constituents.”
Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells said:-
“Common land is vital to those engaged in agriculture, and it also plays an important role in ensuring the protection of the green spaces we can all use for recreation.
“I look forward to further updates from Lesley Griffiths as a result of her enquiries with Welsh public bodies and her suggestions on how we can make current laws even stronger in this regard.”
Pictured (left to right) Andrew RT Davies AM, Vikki Howells AM, Dafydd Jarrett (NFU Cymru), Mick Antoniw AM, Hefin David AM