Westminster and Wales
The CLA represents members interests both in Parliament and in Government Departments to ensure that landowners and rural business owners concerns are heard at all levels of the decision making process.
Environment Agency and Natural England triennial review
The Government has recently announced its triennial review of the Environment Agency and Natural England as part of its rolling programme to look at the functions and successes of public bodies, and determine if they are still required.
The CLA will respond on behalf of members but if you wish to submit your own response, please follow the guidance here: www.defra.gov.uk/review-ea-ne/
The closing date for submissions is the 4 February 2013.
CLA President gives evidence at EFRA Committee
CLA President Harry Cotterell gave oral evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee on rural communities on 28 November.
Mr Cotterell had the opportunity to discuss broadband, housing and Local Enterprise Partnerships. Further information from the CLA on rural communities will be sent to the Committee chairperson following the evidence session.
The CLA will continue to maintain a relationship with the Committee once the report has been published.
Meeting with Cheryl Gillan MP
CLA President Harry Cotterell has met Cheryl Gillan MP regarding compulsory purchase.
Ms Gillan was very supportive of Fair Play: CLA vision for reform of the compulsory purchase system, published on 3 December. She recognises the unequal relationship between acquirers and landowners as unfair, and is particularly in favour of a property bond scheme and a duty of care to the landowner.
The CLA Public Affairs team will continue to work with Ms Gillan to further our case for change in compulsory purchase law within Parliament and the Government.
Meeting with Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromney
CLA Deputy President Henry Robinson and CLA Housing Adviser have met Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromney to discuss housing policy.
Mr Robinson outlined the CLA’s position on the Green Deal, planning and support for a large majority of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. He also highlighted the development of a new CLA Housing Policy for 2013.
Mr Dromney was very receptive; he stated housing policy will be at the core of Labour’s economic recovery plan and agreed there were concerns over the housing shortage and the necessity for development. He raised the prospect of the CLA consulting with the Labour housing policy, as this will be a central election theme for his party.
Although Mr Dromney isn’t in support of the Government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill, he stated that housing policy will be at the core of Labour’s economic recovery plan. He also agreed there were concerns over the housing shortage and necessity for development.
Mr Dromney requested additional information on draft CLA Housing Policy and raised the prospect of the CLA consulting further with Labour since housing policy will be a central election theme for his party.
The Ash Dieback crisis situation has seen debates in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The CLA briefed extensively for both debates and was mentioned by Lord Judd and Lord Marlesford who said at the CLA’s request he had been out at the weekend checking his ash trees for signs of the disease.
In the Commons’ Opposition Day debate Minister for Agriculture David Heath cited the CLA as providing “valuable intelligence” on the disease.
The CLA will continue to work with Defra and other government organisations to ensure this and other devastating tree diseases are handled as effectively as possible.
Meeting with Secretary of State Maria Miller
CLA President Harry Cotterell has met with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller to discuss the problems of delivering broadband to rural areas.
Mr Cotterell set out the continuing problems for rural businesses and communities in their inability to secure an effective and affordable broadband connection. He stressed that the CLA is concerned the Government will not be able to meet its deadline of broadband for all by 2015.
Mrs Miller reiterated her commitment to rolling out broadband coverage across the country saying it is vital for economic growth and a key challenge for the Government. The CLA has welcomed certain clauses within the Growth and Infrastructure Bill which seek to relax planning rules relating to new a broadband infrastructure.
However, Mrs Miller would not support the idea of a Universal Service Obligation saying it could sidetrack efforts to speed up the rollout programme. It was also noted that issues with state aid rules remain, which is delaying the allocation of funding.
The CLA President informed the Secretary of State that a broadband wayleave agreement would be in place by December 2012 which should give clarity to landowners and alleviate problems experienced by infrastructure providers.
Meeting with Shadow Secretary of State Caroline Flint
CLA President Harry Cotterell met with Shadow Secretary of State Caroline Flint on 6 November.
They had a productive meeting discussing Anaerobic Digestion as a possible solution to the waste problem. Ms Flint also expressed her concerns about uncertainty in the energy market leading to higher levels of borrowing, making projects commercially unviable.
Ms Flint said she was keen to meet CLA members who own and run renewable energy projects so we will arrange visits over the coming months.
The Rural Crime Challenge
The CLA have launched their police and crime commissioner manifesto.This has been sent to all of the candidates , across 41 regions, who are competing to become police and crime commissioner in their region.
Growth and Infrastructure Bill
The CLA are broadly supportive of the Growth and Infrastructure bill which is designed to promote economic growth and that will reduce bureaucratic barriers to rural businesses.
The CLA President Harry Cotterell gave oral evidence to the Bill Committee in the Commons on 13 November where he offered his advice on a number of rural issues associated with the Bill such as the bureaucracy around planning policy, business rates and rural broadband.
The Bill is now in Committee stage of the Lords and the CLA has provided a detailed briefing to peer on relevant aspects of the bill.
CLA Member Login
Responsible for the CLA’s lobbying work in Westminster, Charlotte’s parliamentary experience in the UK Parliament as well as the US Congress helps to provide members with an influential voice in Parliament and Government.
James conducts lobbying for the CLA in Westminster and at the National Assembly of Wales, supporting CLA Wales. He has Parliamentary experience and sits on the board of a UK charity.
The CLA Game Fair 2013
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