The UK Government's consultation on future farming policy post-Brexit has been published. This long-anticipated consultation paper is the pre-cursor to promised legislation that is required to manage the transition of the UK’s farming industry out of the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy.
CLA Cymru has produced a briefing note explaining how the relationship between the Welsh and UK governments is adding an additional level of complexity to the Brexit debate.
Overall we are supportive of the proposed de-maining as laid out in the consultation. We believe that where circumstances are appropriate and flood risk is low, organisations such as Internal Drainage Boards often have superior local knowledge and are best placed to plan and carry out maintenance activities along rivers. This move will also allow local people to prioritise maintenance work in their areas as opposed to solely being subject to limited national funding which is awarded on a need-basis. While we are against any additional costs being transferred from the Environment Agency to local organisations, we are confident from the consultation document and supporting information that this will not occur as part of the proposed de-maining.
The CLA have responded to an England only consultation on introducing charges when applying for a licence for managing European Protected Species. The stated purpose of introducing charges is to improve the quality of service for customers applying for a licence.
The CLA broadly supports the consultation proposal to create a National Policy Statement for Water Resources as a means of increasing the rate of water infrastructure developments as well as the proposed principles which will guide the writing of the National Policy Statement. The CLA argues however, that a push for water resilience must target more than just public water supply resilience and must take into account both agricultural and environmental resilience in relation to water resources. All water users are interdependent and greater resilience is needed in the sector - but this should be done in a way which recognises the holistic nature in which water resources are used by stakeholders and addresses the need to facilitate greater water resilience in the agriculture sector.
Previously those in England who wished to undertake certain works on common land were required to meet the requirements of section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 only. As of the 16 May 2017, an additional, more comprehensive assessment, referred to as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is now required. This note developed with Natural England and Defra explains the changes and summarises their implications.
Water abstraction in England and Wales for agricultural purposes represents less than 1% of total abstraction, but the need to reduce water abstraction extends to all current users. There is already evidence of over-abstraction in some catchments and climate change and population growth is expected to increase demand.
The extensive list of Brexit bills highlights the scale of the task involved in preparing for Brexit. It is vital that ministers, officials, MPs and organisations like the CLA work closely together staying focused on helping businesses to invest, grow and create jobs.
The CLA has responded to the June 2012 consultation that explores a possible,
temporary, and limited disincorporation relief for the smallest businesses. In
its response, the CLA has suggested that a disincorporation relief should be
available to all companies and that tax should not seek to prefer one business
structure over another.
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 included a number of provisions amending the Reservoirs Act 1975. The basis for these proposed changes were to ensure reservoir safety in England and Wales is based on a proportionate risk management basis. Chief amongst these were the reduction of the threshold for large raised reservoirs from 25,000 cubic meters to 10,000 cubic meters capacity and the introduction of the high risk designation for those reservoirs thought to pose a risk to life.