CLA North Noticeboard

Consultations, surveys, notices and selected stakeholder events

Tips for renewing firearms licence

CLA North Regional surveyor, Robert Frewen has just been through the renewal process in North Yorkshire and offers the following advice:

  1. Print the medical documents from the North Yorkshire Police website, sign them and take them to your GP as soon as possible. Most GPs will charge for the service – in Robert’s case it was £24 – but the turnaround was prompt. Scan the completed documents and save them on the same computer you use to make the application.
  2. If you are not sure, check the DVLA website for driving offences – you only need to declare those that were more serious than a fixed penalty fine, as well as any other offences.
  3. Take a digital photograph in passport style, so against a plain white background, mouth shut and eyes open and only untinted glasses. Again, save the photo on the same computer as you use for the application.
  4. Make sure you have all the details of you referees before you start, so full names, dates of birth as well as addresses and occupations.
  5. Once you are ready to go, set aside plenty of time with no distractions as you cannot save a part completed application and come back to it later – you have to crack the whole thing in one go.

Employing foreign nationals and how to get it right

A blog was recently published by CLA professional member EMG Solicitors in which Graham Shannon, their Employment Solicitor, objectively sets out the various routes for employers wanting to employ foreign nationals.

The Immigration Act 2016 allows Civil and Criminal Sanctions to be imposed on Employers who knowingly employ individuals who do not have the legal right to live and work in the UK.

Civil penalties include fines of up to £20,000 for each individual employed. Criminal Penalties include prison sentences of up to 5 years. There is also reputational damage to consider too so the importance of understanding the pitfalls and how to avoid them cannot be overstated.

This blog concerns the employment of individuals after 16 May 2014 only. Different rules apply to individuals employed before then.

Your Obligation to prevent Illegal Working

Employers must carry out “right to work” checks on individuals before they start working and carry out follow up checks for any individual who has only time limited permission to work in the UK. Employers must also ensure they keep records of all checks carried out and that they do not employ anyone they know or have reasonable grounds to believe is an illegal worker.

Employers who use Agency workers should ensure the Agency which supplies them has responsibility for performing the right to work checks.

The Right to Work Check

The Home Office has produced a template checklist which all Employers will be find useful but essentially this is a 3 step process which involves an Employer

1.Obtaining the individuals original documents. These are prescribed by the Home Office and include passports, national identity and biometric residence permit or card numbers

2.Checking that the documents are genuine i.e. that they are valid originals which have not been altered. The checking should be accrued out in the presence of the individual so that verification of identity can be carried out more reliably and also to enable the individual to be questioned on their authenticity if needs be. Photographs should be checked for consistency with the appearance of the individual and employers should ensure dates of birth are consistent across all documents. For any students to carry out work checks should be made with the education establishment they are associated with to confirm they are entitled to work the hours proposed. Checks should also be made to ensure that the work proposed for the individual is work which is not restricted by their documentation

3.Taking copies of the documents obtained at the time they are inspected and keeping these safe and secure .Electronic copies can be taken provided that it is in a format which cannot be changed eg PDF format. Copies of passports can be limited to copies of those pages giving personal information or showing any UK endorsements.ID documents should be kept secure for as long as the individual works for the employer and for 2 years afterwards.

(Note also that until 31st August 2021 and as a result of COVID-19 restrictions employers can conduct checks via a video call.This involves the individual sending their documents electronically and then presenting the original documents to the camera in a subsequent video call).

(Note also that for non EEA residents who have a biometric residence permit or card or EEA nationals who have settled or pre settled status an optional online checking system is available).

( Note also that Sponsors of Skilled and Temporary Workers are required to provide additional checks)

Categories of Documents

The Home Office recognizes 2 categories of documents an Employer will need to see

  1. List A Documents

These are documents applicable to individuals with a permanent right to work in the UK

  1. List B Documents

These are documents applicable to individuals who either have only a temporary right to work in the UK ( in which case the right to work ends when their permission ends) or who need to provide further evidence of their right to work, ( in which case permission to work cannot be more than 6 months).

For those individuals who can only produce documents from List B an Employer will be required to conduct follow up checks to ensure employment can continue lawfully.

Brexit

In the case of EEA citizens arriving to work in the UK from 1st July 2021 Employers will need to obtain evidence of immigration status in addition to their passports. This will require an Employer to obtain evidence of that individuals eligibility under the EU Settlement Scheme ( which protects EEA citizens living in the UK for 5 years or more at 31/12/2020), or under the new ‘points based’ immigration system.

Woods into Management Forestry Innovation Funds

Forestry Commission have re-opened their Woods into Management (WiM) Forestry Innovation Funds. Up to £3 million is available in 2022/23 for projects designed to improve the ecological condition of woodlands and their resilience to climate change, through increased demand for wood and woodland management.

Projects can be up to three years (ending March 2025), and can be costed at up to £100K per year. Applications need to be submitted by 9 May. There are four funds:

  • Timber in Construction Innovation Fund
  • Routes to Market for Ash Timber Innovation Fund
  • Temporary Infrastructure Innovation Fund
  • Regional Woodland Restoration Innovation Funds

Further information is available via this link.

A blog that summarises previously successful projects can be accessed by clicking here.

Keeping Our Rivers Flowing Summit 2022 - 12 May

The Keeping Our Rivers Flowing Summit 2022 will be hosted by ADA, CLA, Environment Agency, and National Farmers’ Union (NFU), on Thursday 12 May 2022 at NAEC Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

With environmental land management sitting at the heart of future agricultural reform in England, this Summit will look at how flood storage and natural flood management can combine with the maintenance of our rivers to reduce the risk of flooding.

At the Summit we hope to hear from Defra about how the Government’s new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes can contribute to enhancing our rivers and streams to reduce the risk of flooding, and from practitioners presenting evidence on how flood water can be effectively stored within the landscape and conveyed by our rivers.

Please visit the Eventbrite page to register a place.

Seeking Northumbrian farmers interested in agroforestry

This project that is looking to understand how farmers in Northumberland see incorporating agroforestry as part of their farming practices. It is a research partnership between Newcastle University and the Forestry Commission running from May-July 2022 and we are looking for Northumberland farmers to participate.

Agroforestry is the deliberate integration of woody species onto farm land, it includes practices such as grazing animals under trees, alley cropping, windbreaks, riparian buffers and forest farming.

Our aims are to understand:

  1. Are farmers adopting/ considering adopting agroforestry practices on their farms?
  2. What challenges and opportunities do farmers see when managing farmed land using agroforestry?
  3. What technical support do farmers need to make agroforestry viable for their farm business?
  4. What support do farmers need from future policy (including ELMs) to make agroforestry workable for them?

To achieve these aims we plan to:

  1. Carry out 15 farm visits with farmers across Northumberland, who may or may not be interested in agroforestry. These visits will last for approximately two hours and involve an interview with the farmer as they guide us around their farm to show us how they see their farm in the future.
  2. Conduct interviews with key organisational stakeholders that are there to help farmers integrate agroforestry into their farming systems – the aim is to understand how organisations and policy may help or hinder incorporation of agroforestry.
  3. Host 2 one-day workshops, on the 23rd and 24th June. The workshop will be a mix of farmers, agroforestry experts and government stakeholders and is an opportunity to learn more about implementing agroforestry and the support available to do this.

This research will build networks within Northumberland for people interested in agroforestry, provide information for further scientific research that is based on farmer perspectives, and help us understand how challenges can be overcome for land managers.

If you would like to participate please contact Dr Marion Pfeifer marion.pfeifer@newcastle.ac.uk or e.s.moore2@newcastle.ac.uk for more information. We also welcome suggestions about what farmers would like to get out of the project, focussing on the aims of understanding the challenges / opportunities for them and any needs for their farm business.

Northumberland Coast AONB Visitor Guide launched

It is the tenth edition of this popular publication which this year features a beautiful image of Dunstanburgh Castle - taken from Embleton Bay - on its front cover, impressively captured by local photographer Gavin Duthie.

The guide is designed to be used once visitors are here. It is full of information, great photos and aims to help visitors make the most of their stay whilst encouraging them to help conserve this unique landscape. This year, the guide includes an extra 16 page pull out - Drive Less, See More - to help visitors get around the Northumberland Coast without a car.

The AONB Partnership strongly encourage small business and attractions get their copies of the Guide, ready for the year ahead. They have printed 50,000 copies to meet demand.

Catherine Gray from the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership said: “Two years ago, we were ready to launch the guide but were faced with a national lockdown. We couldn’t justify putting nearly 50,000 guides into landfill, so decided to distribute them last year instead. It’s great to be able to bring it up to date again and provide the ‘must-have’ guide for our visitors.”

The Guide is distributed through A-ha Distribution. If local businesses wish to be added to their mailing list, then please contact them on 0191 267 1220 or e-mail: ne@aha-distribution.co.uk. Copies can also be collected from local Tourist Information Centres.