THE concerns of a Ruthin-based timber company about the future of the Welsh timber industry has been raised in the Senedd by Clwyd West AM Darren Millar.
Speaking in this week’s Business Statement, Mr Millar said Clifford Jones Timber, which has been providing high quality timber products for the construction of industrial, commercial and domestic landscapes for over 60 years, is concerned that action has not been taken by the Welsh Government to ensure sufficient crop for the future.
He said: “Can I call for a Statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs in relation to the future of the timber industry in Wales?
“Members will have noticed that there were some concerns raised by Clifford Jones Timber, an organisation that is based in Ruthin in my constituency, about the failure of the Welsh Government Forestry Land to secure a greater planting regime, an increase in the planting regime, in order to have a sufficient crop for the future.
“You’ll be aware that this particular business employs 80 people, and indeed, there are many thousands of jobs in the wood manufacturing industry in Wales that rely on timber production. I wonder, Minister, whether we can have a Statement from the Cabinet Secretary, just in terms of what the Welsh Government intends to do in order to maximise the output of that industry, and its economic contribution to Wales in the future.”
Mr Millar added: “Clifford Jones Timber is an extremely successful business that sells its products across the UK. It has survived the difficult economic climate exceptionally well, but they are concerned about the impact that this failure to secure a greater planting regime could have on their business in the future. It is vital that the Welsh Government listens to and acts on their concerns.”
Earlier this month, Penny Lloyd, purchasing director of the Ruthin-based company which employs over 80 staff, warned that a failure to meet planting targets was turning Wales into a tree-free zone and threatening an industry worth over £450 million a year.