(I've decided to publish Press Releases on my blog rather than send them out separately - so here goes).
Glyn Davies, new President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales has called for the rural campaigning organisation to put retention of local services at the heart of CPRW policy. In a wide ranging speech about the future of the Welsh countryside, delivered to Caernarfonshire CPRW on Saturday, Glyn Davies outlined his ideas about how he believed the organisation should set about engaging with the people of Wales and attract more members.
In his first speech as CPRW President, delivered to a well attended meeting at Abersoch on the Lleyn Peninsular, Glyn Davies said:
"There are great and increasing pressures for change impacting on Rural Wales, and there has never been a greater need for a campaigning organisation where people who care about the future of the countryside can meet, discuss and influence policy which drives this change.
Too many people see CPRW as always 'against everything'. This is totally wrong. CPRW accepts that there must be new housing, new business, new energy sources and improvements to the transport infrastructure. What we seek to do is ensure that these changes are implemented with the greatest possible sympathy for the physical beauty and cultural traditions of Rural Wales.
Too many people see CPRW as only a campaigning body against on shore wind farms. This is a total misconception. It is true that, in general, we disagree with the Assembly Government's planning policies on renewable energy, which puts far too emphasis on wind farms. We see the Government's policy as damaging to the landscapes of Wales and as undermining local democracy. But CPRW is about so much more.
Top of my personal agenda is the threat to the local services which underpin our rural communities. In Rural Wales at present, there is a huge threat to our small village schools and to our network of rural post offices. The heart is being torn from our villages at an alarming rate. I see CPRW as a key player in persuading Government to recognise the importance of these services to village life. During my first year as President, my ambition is to broaden the range of subjects where we are seen to be championing the cause of Rural Wales"