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John Griffiths AM

John Griffiths AM
Biographical details and Ministerial responsibilities of the Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport.

Born in 1956, John Griffiths studied law as a mature student at the University of Wales, Cardiff before going on to practice as a solicitor specialising in criminal law, personal injury and general civil litigation. He is a former councillor on Gwent County Council and Newport County Borough Council. He is a member of the Co-operative Party and the Community and Unite Trades Unions.

John has previously served as Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Deputy Minister within the Health and Social Services portfolio having special responsibility for Older People and Deputy Minister for Skills. In December 2009, he was appointed as Counsel General and Leader of the Legislative Programme. Following re-election to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2011, John Griffiths was appointed Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development and in March 2013 was appointed Minister for Culture and Sport.

The Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport is responsible for:

  • National Parks;
  • Access to the countryside, coastal access (including the Wales Coastal Path) and rights of way;
  • Protection (including designation) of ancient monuments and historic buildings in Wales, and related matters, and their promotion as visitor attractions;  
  • Conserving and protecting the historic environment of Wales and promotion of heritage-led regeneration;  
  • Promoting access to and community engagement with Welsh heritage and the historic environment;  
  • Sponsorship of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments and support for the Welsh Archaeological Trusts;
  • National strategy and policy for culture in Wales;  
  • Sponsorship of the Arts Council of Wales, including appointments of Chair and members;  
  • Sponsorship of the Sports Council for Wales, including appointments of the Chair and members;
  • Sponsorship of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the National Library of Wales, including appointments of the President and members;  
  • Lead responsibility for Welsh Government funding of the Wales Millennium Centre;
  • National strategy and policy for sport, physical activity and active recreation in Wales;  
  • National Free Swimming initiative;  
  • Government Indemnity Scheme and the Acceptance in Lieu of Inheritance Tax Scheme;  
  • Non-national museums, public libraries and archives policy;  
  • Policy on broadcasting;  
  • Sponsorship of the Welsh Books Council;  
  • Issues surrounding the distribution of Lottery funding within Wales by the Big Lottery Fund, National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council of Wales and Sports Council for Wales (allocation of funding between good causes and between countries remains the responsibility of the UK Government);  
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales;
  • Promotion of walking and cycling, including the Active Travel (Wales) Bill;
  • Strategic lead on allotments;
  • Cross-cutting measures of mitigation and adaptation in relation to climate change;
  • Land drainage, flood prevention and coastal protection;
  • The control of air pollution in Wales (except vehicle emissions);
  • Control of marine pollution in Welsh waters;
  • Terrestrial and fresh water biodiversity and nature conservation;
  • The control of water quality and safeguarding of water resources in Wales, including regulation of drinking water quality, and the taking of special measures in time of drought;
  • The oversight of the Dŵr Cymru and Dee Valley water companies, including their activities of those parts of their operational areas in England (ie parts of Herefordshire and Cheshire);
  • The construction or enlargement of reservoirs, and the undertaking of ancillary works, in Wales by any person or corporation;
  • Waste management in Wales including: implementation and review of the Wales waste strategy; regulation of local authority responsibilities for managing municipal waste; regulation of waste management, including European Union, UK and National Assembly for Wales legislation; support for sustainable resource management; contaminated land;
  • Energy policy, small-medium scale energy production, domestic energy, energy efficiency including the provision of grants to aid energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty;
  • All activities of Natural Resources Wales; 
  • Assess with other UK competent authorities all Part C applications seeking approval for the uses of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in cultivation and importation in the European Union and the licensing of any GM crop trials in Wales;
  • The protection of wildlife in Wales, except the prescription of firearms to be used for the culling of certain wild animals (not devolved);
  • The control of pests, weeds and vermin;
  • The regulation of plant health, seeds and pesticides in Wales, and the control of plant diseases. 

[1] For these purposes, “Welsh waters” means the sea around Wales within 12 nautical miles of the Welsh coast, except in the Bristol Channel and Dee Estuary, where Welsh waters are delimited by a line midway between the Welsh and English coasts. See Schedule 3 to the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 (SI 1999/672)


Writing to Ministers

Contact John Griffiths by email at:

We aim to provide a response to correspondence to Ministers, including electronic mail within 17 working days.  Ministers will respond to matters that fall within their portfolio. Please follow the spotlight ‘Writing to Ministers’ on the right hand side to direct your correspondence to the right Minister.