A LONG-TERM vision is needed to help secure the future of a community farm under the threat of a £200,000 funding cut, councillors have said.

Torfaen council is proposing to reduce its subsidy to Greenmeadow Community Farm which could result in significant changes, including to opening hours, staffing and catering facilities.

Around 50 acres of surplus land near the Cwmbran farm could also be sold, with the money raised planned to be reinvested into facilities.

Proposals to save the money are currently being costed, with a decision on the changes due to be made by councillors in June.

At a Torfaen council seminar discussing future plans for the farm on Monday, Conservative councillor Jason O'Connell said a clearer vision for the facility is needed.

Cllr O'Connell said it is not clear whether the farm is being developed as an educational asset, tourist attraction or a productive farm.

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A horticultural show at the farm

"Until we come to a decision on what we want the farm to be we are very much flapping in the wind, trying to do all things to all people," he said.

Labour councillor David Yeowell said a self-financing way of running the farm was needed, to prevent the need for more cuts in future years.

Working with charities and other organisations to develop facilities in the longer term is one option which has been discussed by councillors.

Cllr Fay Jones said it was important for the authority to work with the community, and groups such as Friends of Greenmeadow Community Farm, to develop future plans.

"It's a jewel in the crown and I think it's awful we are having to go down this road of taking money off it," she said.

Councillor Dave Thomas criticised the council for 'allowing the farm to deteriorate', asking, "Does the council even want the farm?"


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"If you do then I think it's your responsibility to make sure we save that farm for the community and the residents of Torfaen," he said.

Council leader, Cllr Anthony Hunt, urged people to continue to visit and support the farm.

Although the farm is popular, Cllr Hunt said the issue facing the council is that costs go up every year.

Cllr Peter Jones, chairman of the group tasked with finding the £200,000 funding reduction, said the proposals are aimed at maintaining the farm, while scaling back some of what is offered.

"No where are we suggesting there should be any long term threat to this farm," he said.