Country Landowners call on new Defra Secretary to boost economy
The CLA in the South West has called on the new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, not to ease back on the throttle and to continue to push through Defra's agenda for revitalising the rural economy.
CLA South West Director, John Mortimer, said the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will need to ensure UK farmers get a fair deal from Common Agricultural Policy reforms which will allow them to compete on the world stage. The CLA also wants to see farmers and land owners rewarded for the environmental benefits they provide.
"As a former shadow agriculture spokesman, Mr Paterson will understand the Defra brief very well. We hope that he wastes no time in grasping the nettle on the key issues for food and farming and we would like to see him implement the good policy work started under his predecessor, and present a bold vision for our industry in Defra's forthcoming Rural Statement."
Mr Mortimer said Mr Paterson would bring undoubted qualities to the job – but he also paid tribute to outgoing Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.
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"Mrs Spelman served with great integrity. In a tough economic climate, she was a steady hand at the tiller of Defra, and made the right decision in allowing a badger cull to combat bovine TB. Her door has been open to the CLA and she has listened to our views. We thank her for the good work she has done during her term as Environment Secretary and wish her well for the future."