Each month we will be introducing a member of our CLA East team. Our first feature is on Alison Provis, CLA East Rural Surveyor.
Can you give us an overview of your career to date?
I have been a rural surveyor for over 10 years now, beginning as a graduate in 2011 and becoming chartered in 2013. I then moved to Savills, specialising in rural estate management, acting on behalf of private, corporate and institutional landowners. I also spent some time as an assistant resident agent on an estate in Bedfordshire. I moved to the CLA in January 2020.
What have you enjoyed the most about working for the CLA?
I received a member enquiry regarding the impact Covid-19 was having on businesses early on and began liaising with our policy team regarding the problems members were facing and what advice they needed. It was very rewarding, seeing our early efforts transform into what is now an extensive and comprehensive Covid-19 hub on our website and how quickly we could react to provide advice to members at such a crucial time for them. I have also undertaken policy work, presenting a paper I wrote on the Ox-Cam Arc at a National Council Meeting which was incredibly interesting. Being able to “meet” members on Zoom and getting to know others through enquiries has also been fantastic, and I am looking forward to agricultural shows re-opening so I can meet many more.
The CLA has a very busy agenda protecting members’ interests – what type of member enquiries have you had since joining the CLA?
Planning, diversification and renewable energy are common, which highlights the key role the rural sector has to play in the future e.g. biodiversity net gain, new environmental schemes and decarbonising rural housing stock. Changes to farm subsidies have prompted businesses to re-assess and think about where their business should go next; for some, this means diversification. The government’s focus on planning policy, e.g. Planning White Paper has also caught members’ attention. Queries around residential lettings are also popular. The government regularly introduce consultations and new legislation, most recently on energy efficiency, electrical safety and the abolition of Section 21 Notices to Quit.