Hannah Blythyn, Minister for Environment
Following his appointment as Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM will not continue in his role with the Future Landscapes Wales group. I am, therefore, taking this opportunity to pause and reflect on the activities and future of the group.
Since October 2015 when the Future Landscapes Wales Working Group was established, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM has led representatives of the national parks, AONBs, interest groups and business in their exploration of the Marsden Review recommendations and the case for reform. He made a significant contribution to ensuring the many different partners involved were able to contribute their views, engage in frank debate, and ultimately publish “Future Landscapes: Delivering for Wales” earlier this year. The Welsh Government sought views on key proposals from this work, relating to the role and governance of the designated landscapes, as part of the consultation on Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources.
I anticipate making a full statement on the way forward with designated landscapes early in the New Year, by which time I will have reviewed all the responses to this consultation. My response will also consider whether a formal group, such as the one which existed for Future Landscapes Wales, is needed to develop and strengthen the partnerships and collaborative working necessary to deliver the landscapes, rich ecosystems and vibrant rural communities I want for the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.