Rural and farming networks to provide hotline to the heart of government

Published on Wednesday, 04 January 2012 10:41
Posted by Scott Buckler

Rural business leaders will have a hotline to the heart of Government through the creation of new Rural and Farming Networks, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice announced today. This means that they will be able to directly shape future rural policies

Fourteen networks representing different areas of England have been set up to identify and feed back local issues and concerns straight to the heart of Government, in order to make policies more rural-friendly.

The Networks bring together people from rural communities, rural businesses and the food and farming industries. They will make a direct link between rural areas and the Government, creating new opportunities to develop better and more targeted policy.

Each group will also be a vital point of contact in the event of local emergencies – such as flooding – giving advice and information so that the right kind of assistance can be provided to keep businesses running.

Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Jim Paice said:

For too long our rural communities have been overlooked and had too little say in decisions which affect them. We are putting that right through the Rural and Farming Networks. They will have direct access to Ministers and, just as importantly, Ministers will use them to ensure we understand the impact of our policies.

“Defra will be the ‘listening’ department that will understand and promote the interests of rural communities and businesses, based on direct contact with the people whose livelihoods we are championing.”


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