New Chairman of CLA Isle of Wight branch says rural world facing ‘greatest period of uncertainty for a generation’

13 November 2018

Laurence Taylor

The new Chairman of the Isle of Wight branch of the CLA, Laurence Taylor, says rural businesses are facing great uncertainty – but new opportunities as well as challenges await.

Mr Taylor has replaced Susie Sheldon in one of the most important rural roles on the island.

Mr Taylor was born and brought up on the family farm at Bembridge. After attending Ryde School he read history at King’s College London and qualified as a solicitor.

After a spell in private practice in Devon he joined the Treasury Solicitor’s Department in London, advising various government departments on contentious property and commercial matters.

Mr Taylor left his role in 2014 to help run the family farm and rural property at Bembridge. The family business includes a small airport, commercial and residential properties and a holiday park.

Mr Taylor, who has been a member of the CLA Isle of Wight branch since 2015, said: “I am delighted and honoured to be elected the Chairman of the Isle of Wight branch of the CLA.

“I am taking over as Chairman at a time farming and rural businesses are facing perhaps the greatest period of uncertainty they have faced for a generation.

“I hope to be able to help support the island membership through a period which will undoubtedly present many challenges, but hopefully new opportunities as well, and to be an advocate for their concerns.”

As branch Chairman, Mr Taylor will be representing landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the island.

CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards said: “We wish to place on record our sincere thanks to Susie for her tremendous work, ideas and enthusiasm over the course of her chairmanship.

“We are delighted to welcome Laurence into the role and look forward to working closely with him over the next few years.”

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Photo: Laurence Taylor, pictured at The Garlic Farm in Newchurch yesterday.