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Agricultural Research Centres

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 23 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales why the research centres at Llanishen and Bangor are to be closed; how many staff there are at each; how many at each will be made redundant; what work each centre does for Welsh agriculture; where that work will be carried out in future; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food announced on 22 January 1985 that Government expenditure on agricultural research and development was to be reduced. The contribution to these economies which is to be made by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service in 1986–87 will be achieved by rationalising the organisation of the service's R and D and concentrating work on fewer sites.The laboratories at Llanishen and Bangor provide analytical and diagnostic services in the fields of analytical chemistry, entomology, microbiology, nutrition chemistry, vertebrate pest control, plant pathology and soil science. Arrangements are being made to maintain these services to the agricultural industry. Laboratory services will be provided mainly from the centre at Trawsgoed, and advice from the divisional offices in the areas concerned.There are 20 scientific staff in the science service laboratory at Bangor and 15 at Llanishen. Some of these staff can be redeployed, and a number of job losses can be achieved by natural wastage, but the total cannot be achieved without some redundancies. It is not possible at this stage to state the number of redundancies which will be necessary at each location. Reductions in the Welsh Office support staff of three at Bangor and four at Llanishen will be achieved by natural wastage or redeployment.