CLA calls for new Environment Secretary to push Defra policies that matter for the countryside.

06 November 2013

The CLA today (4 September 2012) called for newly appointed Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to push through Defra's agenda for revitalising the rural economy.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs needs to ensure a fair deal for UK farmers in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations, allowing them to compete on the world stage and rewarding them for the environmental benefits they provide.

 He said: "We are delighted the Prime Minister, in his reshuffle, has appointed someone of Owen Paterson's undoubted qualities to be the new Environment Secretary and hope that he wastes no time in grasping the nettle on the key issues for food and farming.

"As MP for North Shropshire and former Agriculture Spokesman from 2003-5, Mr Paterson will understand the Defra brief very well. Now the CLA would like to see him vigorously implement the good policy work started under his predecessor, and present a bold vision for our industry in Defra's forthcoming Rural Statement."

Mr Cotterell paid tribute to outgoing Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.

He said: "Caroline 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. I would like to thank her for the good work she has done as Environment Secretary and wish her very well for the future."