South West Regional Director Ann Maidment recently met with Dr Simon Opher, the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stroud (Gloucestershire).
The visit was hosted by the Dangerfield family – Philip, Mandy and their daughter Ellie - on their farm on the outskirts of Stroud.
Most of the Stroud constituency is rural or semi-rural with a middle belt that has a group of towns and villages. Stroud has been a marginal seat since 1992, changing hands four times in seven elections since then. The meeting was an opportunity for the CLA South West to highlight the potential of the rural economy and the benefits businesses offer, but also the challenges faced ahead of a General Election, expected to be later this year.
Key topics of conversation included future farming support such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive with the reduction to the Basic Payment scheme, the challenges associated with TB and diversification from traditional farming to generate other revenue streams.