Thursday, January 04, 2007

Has the Beeb in Wales Abandoned Devolution?

Very surprised to see every BBB Wales news programme yesterday leading in a big way on a speech about bio-crops made by Labour Minister, David Miliband at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Not only is this a devolved issue, but it has featured strongly in Assembly business - when the subject was given minimal coverage by the BBC. All of the interviewees on yesterday's news programmes (John Valentine, Paul Ratcliffe and the NFU) gave evidence before the Environment, Planning and Countryside Committee in Haverfordwest last June. As yesterday's mass media reporting was going out, the EPC Committee awaits a response from Assembly Government officials to the evidence sessions.

There is much concern about there being establishment grants available in England, and not in Wales. No reference at all was made to this or to the Assembly Minister, who has responsibility in this field -and no reference to the Assembly Committee which has done a lot of work on the issue either. There was just reems of discussion with the Westminster based Minister who has responsibility for developing the biocrops sector in England. It was almost as if devolution had never happened. Very odd behaviour indeed.

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