Defra Cuts could Threaten Climate Change ActionRural economy experts at the CLA are calling for urgent talks with Defra Secretary of State, Hilary Benn, to discuss the cash crisis that is looming in the countryside.
The call follows news that the Minister is looking to slash the departmental budget by almost £1billion over the next three years.
The CLA says that expected cuts to the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency could put many climate change and renewable energy projects on hold.
CLA president, Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, said: "This is very bad news for the countryside. If action on climate change is stalled because of financial cuts, it will be a serious indictment of a government which has committed itself to meeting the challenge head on."
The CLA president is also worried that the cuts will mean higher animal disease costs being levied on farmers and more fly-tipping in the countryside because there will be no money to tackle its cause.
"The finger of blame is being pointed at the bungled administration of the Single Farm Payment, which has cost the country £290 million in EU fines for failing to meet its payment obligations to UK farmers," he said.
"Surely now the Minister must meet with the industry as a matter of urgency to try to determine a way forward which will do least damage to the countryside and its communities."
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A farmerís daughter from the North York Moors, where her brothers still farm, Dorothy has clocked up more than 30 yearsí service to the rural economy since graduating from Wye College (University of London) with a degree in agriculture.
She qualified as a rural practice chartered surveyor (land agent) whilst working for Savills plc in London and York, dealing with sales and purchases of country houses and estates as well as the management of investment estates for financial institutions.
Prior to joining the CLA, Dorothy worked for the National Trust in Yorkshire. There she managed some 30,000 acres of outstanding countryside as well as being responsible for historic houses open to the public and the acquisition of major new properties.
Dorothy was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to rural affairs.
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