#SaveOurZoos: ‘Support our Zoos with Barnett consequentials’

The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (10 June) written to the Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales to outline her ‘serious concerns’ over a statement made during Wednesday’s Senedd Plenary session.

In response to a question requesting that the Welsh Mountain Zoo be allowed to re-open, the Minister replied:

‘Now, in the meantime, the sort of support that's being offered to zoos in Wales, I think, has been extraordinary, bearing in mind that we did not get a single penny of consequentials, based on the UK Government's zoos fund announcement.’

However, in a recent reply to a written question in the House of Commons, Victoria Prentis MP assured that ‘Devolved Administrations will receive £2.1 million in additional funding’ as the UK Government’s Zoo Support Fund qualified for Barnett consequentials.

Speaking of the plenary session, Janet said:

“I urge the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales to rectify his comments as a matter of urgency. At this time of great pressure and challenge, it is imperative that the Welsh Government remains open and transparent about the money it is receiving and how it is being spent.

“I also ask that the Welsh Minister explains whether he will use the consequentials to support our struggling zoos. Many have received no financial support since the start of the pandemic, and several are reporting imminent closure.

“Enforced closures as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic has placed tremendous strain on these organisations. This money from the UK Government would go a long way in preventing loss of jobs and ensuring animal welfare.

“As I said in plenary today, it is possible to introduce social-distancing measures for these places. It is about time that the Welsh Government rectified this situation and let our zoos re-open.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

Attachments

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Plenary Record - 10/06/2020 283.55 KB