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Furious farmers blockade school with their tractors and bring roads to a standstill in protest over 20mph speed limits and Labour’s subsidy plan


Furious farmers blockaded a school with their tractors and brought roads to a standstill in protest of 20mph speed limits and Labour‘s subsidy plans.

About 40 tractors took to the streets near Colwyn Bay amid fury at his demand that farmers plant trees for subsidies.

It comes just days after Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was accused of ‘naked contempt’ for farmers after video emerged of him apparently mocking protesters during a visit to Rhyl. 

The Labour leader has also claimed the demands are their fault for supporting Brexit – as he’s sought to deflect criticism of his Government’s controversial policy which has sparked protests across Wales. 

He has been accused by his Tory opposite number of treating farmers ‘with contempt’ by demanding they plant trees on their land in return for subsidies. 

And he cancelled his event at Ysgol Bryn Elian at the last minute the day after was greeted at a school in Rhyl by a chorus of jeers and boos. About 200 farmers followed him to the college and 50 tractors swamped the town.

About 40 tractors took to the streets near Rhyl College amid fury at his demand that farmers plant trees for subsidies

About 40 tractors took to the streets near Rhyl College amid fury at his demand that farmers plant trees for subsidies

It comes just days after Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was accused of 'naked contempt' for farmers

It comes just days after Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was accused of ‘naked contempt’ for farmers

Drakeford has been accused by his Tory opposite number of treating farmers 'with contempt' by demanding they plant trees on their land in return for subsidies

Drakeford has been accused by his Tory opposite number of treating farmers ‘with contempt’ by demanding they plant trees on their land in return for subsidies

Today tractors brought Colwyn Bay to a standstill as about 40 packed the roads

Today tractors brought Colwyn Bay to a standstill as about 40 packed the roads

Tina Lee, organiser of the 20mph protest, said: ‘Thursday’s protest / convoy was to show support to our local farmers and to come together with the ‘No to default limit’ as it’s all part of the Welsh Labour government’s Net Zero policy.

‘Farmers are being forced to lose 20 per cent [10 per cent of their land and allocate another 10 per cent for wildlife habitats] of their land to plant trees [and for wildlife habitats]. Trees which can’t be removed for over 50 years. They will get a subsidised but no figures have been given, but the farmers don’t want to lose their land. It’s like the government taking away part of our home.

‘Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford was meant to have been at the venue [Ysgol Bryn Elian] but cancelled last minute.

‘We received amazing the support and we are all so grateful that the public are supporting both the farmers and ‘No to default 20 limit’.’ 

A farmer from the Vale of Clwyd at yesterday’s protest added: ‘Everyone had their different views on Brexit. A lot of people voted ‘out’ because of the campaign – they were lied to. 

‘It’s a mixed view across agriculture. Mr Drakeford doesn’t quite understand farming. He’s doing what he wants to do. He’s not there listening to the farmers, or we wouldn’t be here now.’

Plaid Cymru said : ‘Instead of patronising the agriculture sector, the Labour Government should be working with them and listening to their concerns.’

Farming industry chiefs have warned of ‘huge unrest’ ahead as a mass rally featured a mock coffin in anger against rewilding reforms by Wales’s Labour government.

The outry comes as farmers have also been staging anti-EU protests across Europe including in Italy and Poland over issues such as taxes and green regulation.

Welsh former international rugby referee Nigel Owens was among the speakers at the Carmarthen event, as concerns were raised about the rewilding plans. 

Mr Drakeford was unrepentant at First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd this week in a clash with Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, saying: ‘I think it’s important that I remind the leader of the opposition why we are in the position that we are in: it’s because farmers in Wales took his advice and voted to leave the European Union…

Farming industry chiefs have warned of 'huge unrest' ahead as a mass rally featured a mock coffin in anger against rewilding reforms by Wales's Labour government

Farming industry chiefs have warned of ‘huge unrest’ ahead as a mass rally featured a mock coffin in anger against rewilding reforms by Wales’s Labour government

Placards along the protest slammed the Labour government for their role in the subsidies

Placards along the protest slammed the Labour government for their role in the subsidies

The outry comes as farmers have also been staging anti-EU protests across Europe including in Italy and Poland over issues such as taxes and green regulation

The outry comes as farmers have also been staging anti-EU protests across Europe including in Italy and Poland over issues such as taxes and green regulation

The Welsh government has put forward the Wales Sustainable Farming Scheme it says will reward farmers 'for responding to the climate and nature emergencies, as well as producing food in a sustainable way'

The Welsh government has put forward the Wales Sustainable Farming Scheme it says will reward farmers ‘for responding to the climate and nature emergencies, as well as producing food in a sustainable way’

‘Believe me, we are in the position that we are in today because we have taken back control of farming support in Wales, as we were obliged to do. If farmers in Wales were still able to have access to the funds that were available through the European Union, they would be in a very different position than they are having heard and followed his advice.’

Farm adviser Merfyn Parry said Mr Drakeford made a ‘stupid’ comment about Brexit.

He said: ‘It would be criminal to plant trees on land capable of producing food. There’s no real science behind what they are doing.’

It came as a new poll revealed nearly two-thirds of voters backed ‘don’t know’ over either candidate to replace him as the next Welsh first minister

The Welsh government has put forward the Wales Sustainable Farming Scheme it says will reward farmers ‘for responding to the climate and nature emergencies, as well as producing food in a sustainable way’.

The programme, scheduled to come into force next year, has been opposed by the NFU Cymru farmers’ union which fears it could lead to as many as 5,500 job losses.

A recent report suggested every farm in the country taking part could cause a 10.8 per cent cut in livestock numbers and an 11 per cent reduction in labour.

Following angry protests by farmers across Wales, Mr Drakeford said: ‘The Welsh Government wants to go on supporting farmers here in Wales. 

A recent report suggested every farm in the country taking part could cause a 10.8 per cent cut in livestock numbers and an 11 per cent reduction in labour

A recent report suggested every farm in the country taking part could cause a 10.8 per cent cut in livestock numbers and an 11 per cent reduction in labour

Following angry protests by farmers across Wales, Mr Drakeford said: 'The Welsh Government wants to go on supporting farmers here in Wales'

Following angry protests by farmers across Wales, Mr Drakeford said: ‘The Welsh Government wants to go on supporting farmers here in Wales’

Ministers have been working on the new post-Brexit subsidy scheme for farms, with the current proposals stipulating that farms should ensure 10 per cent of land is planted with trees and 10 per cent treated as wildlife habitat to be eligible for cash

Ministers have been working on the new post-Brexit subsidy scheme for farms, with the current proposals stipulating that farms should ensure 10 per cent of land is planted with trees and 10 per cent treated as wildlife habitat to be eligible for cash

‘But the bargain can’t be that the public puts it hand into the pocket to put millions of pounds, nearly £300 million every year on the table, for farmers to just do whatever farmers think they would like to do with it.’

He declared : ‘I understand that this is a difficult time for people in rural Wales. People feel their way of life is under attack from the forces of change that go on around them.

‘But change is unavoidable. What we need to do is to work together to create a pathway to that future in which the public purse in Wales will go on investing in farming communities and in rural Wales but where that investment provides a return for the public.

‘The public has a right to know what that investment is creating. Top of our list is sustainable food production but there are those other environmental goods that in an era of climate change are essential for us to see in the countryside here in Wales.’

Ministers have been working on the new post-Brexit subsidy scheme for farms, with the current proposals stipulating that farms should ensure 10 per cent of land is planted with trees and 10 per cent treated as wildlife habitat to be eligible for cash.

Opponents say this will be unworkable and impose too much extra paperwork.



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