News
29th Oct

2018

Media Release – MR18/40 – Farm Tenants Must Not Be Disenfranchised by New Farm Policy in Wales

The Tenant Farmers Association in Wales (TFA Cymru) has submitted its response to the Welsh Government’s “Brexit and our Land” consultation, warning that an important prerequisite for any new policy framework will be reform to agricultural tenancy legislation.

TFA Cymru Chairman, Dennis Matheson, said “The Welsh Government is to be congratulated on its level of engagement with the farming industry and other rural interests since the EU referendum vote in June 2016.  At almost every meeting with Welsh Government representatives, I have raised the urgent need for reform of tenancy legislation and I was pleased to see it raised as a question in the consultation paper.  However, we now need to move fast towards making the changes we need.”

Many agricultural tenancies in Wales will contain clauses which require farm tenants to use their holdings for agricultural use only.  This would preclude many from engaging in schemes for wider public good delivery under a new environmental land management scheme.  Also, many tenancy agreements will preclude tenants from investing in new fixed equipment on their holdings or adding to or improving existing fixed equipment or even entering schemes without the consent of their landlords.  This could make life difficult for tenants wishing to take part in the proposed new Economic Resilience Scheme.

“Although TFA Cymru works to enhance good landlord tenant relationships, sadly there are too many instances where landlords, particularly of secure tenants, are more concerned about trying to regain vacant possession of their let land than working constructively with their tenants.  Our concern is that we will see landlords refuse consent on an unreasonable basis and there is little that tenants can do to prevent that,” said Mr Matheson.

TFA Cymru has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation by flagging up the recommendations made by the cross-organisational Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) at the invitation of DEFRA a year ago.  As agricultural tenancy legislation is a devolved matter, these recommendations can be picked up and implemented by the Welsh Government.

“We have included in our consultation response suggested clauses that the Welsh Government could look at to bring forward the necessary legislation to make the changes we need.  These spring from what has previously been agreed by TRIG and we will encourage the Welsh Government to look at these both constructively and urgently,” said Mr Matheson.

 

Date: 29 October 2018

Ref MR18/40

Notes for Editors

TFA Cymru is hosting a seminar and discussion on the “Brexit and our Land” proposals starting at 7:30 pm on the 31st October 2018, at the Metropole Hotel, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5DY. TFA Chief Executive George Dunn will assess the impact of future policy on the tenanted sector and Karen Anthony from Agri Advisor solicitors will look at what landlords and tenants need to be considering in terms of managing existing and new tenancy agreements.  This is a FREE event open to any tenant farmer in Wales however, places need to be booked in advance via TFA head office.

For further information or to book a place at the seminar contact Julia Meadows on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157 or by email on events@tfa.org.uk.

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