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Farmer at wits' end over 'unnecessary' number of farm inspections

A Welsh farmer said he was at the end of his tether over an ongoing wrangle with Welsh Government over what he believed was an unnecessary number of farm inspections.

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Farmer at wits' end over 'unnecessary' number of farm inspections

Rhys Evans, who farms sheep and beef on an upland unit at Rhydymain, Dolgellau, said he had been subjected to a series of inspections in relation to a disputed Glastir claim dating back to 2014.

 

Mr Evans, who faced seven inspections from seven different inspectors over an 18-month period, the latest being on December 14, said: “I was expected to fit water tanks which were too high for lambs to drink from and lay hedges that did not even exist, but officers seem more interested in covering Welsh Government mistakes and misleading the Minister than resolving problems with the contract.

 

“The Welsh Audit Office, picking up on the fact something is wrong with the inspection process, has also been out to our farm on two occasions to validate the work of inspectors from Rural Inspectorate Wales, meaning more time is wasted.”

 

Mr Evans added that during one phonecall to Rural Payments Wales (RPW) he was told his case would only be prioritised if he was ‘feeling suicidal’ or in financial difficulty.


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Mr Evans said he would like Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths to understand the poor way in which Glastir was being administered and act to rectify the problems, and lodged a complaint with RPW.

 

A Welsh Government spokesperson said they could not comment on specific issues due to the appeal, but added: “European regulations governing the schemes require a regulatory regime for which RPW has no discretion and must apply.”

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