The next Government will need to deliver a proactive approach to the countryside and recognise the importance of rural-based businesses to the wider economy – that’s the message from the CLA, which has launched its manifesto for the general election.
Unlock the Countryside’s Potential was unveiled today (July 18) by CLA President Henry Robinson at a special debate on the first day of the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
Mr Robinson told delegates that CLA members own or manage around half the rural land in England and Wales and run over 250 types of business. That, he said, puts the Association in a unique position to advise the next government on how it might best unlock the social, economic and environmental benefits that rural areas can offer society as a whole.
“Importantly, we are the only organisation that can help the next government achieve the long term security food, water, housing and energy issues that will be at the top of every party’s agenda.
“We are publishing our manifesto ahead of the General Election campaign because it sets out key recommendations that will enable candidates to achieve a better understanding of the countryside and enable those elected to effect real change.” he said.
In its manifesto, the Association calls on the next government to consider 76 recommendations in the areas of Property and Ownership; Landscape and Farming; Environment and Natural Resources; Business and Technology.
CLA Midlands regional director Caroline Bedell added; “This should be a ‘must read’ for all candidates, both urban and rural, because it will help them ensure that the countryside is not disadvantaged by predominantly urban-based legislation and that it will remain a dynamic, thriving place for those who come to visit and for those who live and to work there. It’s a vision that will help rural areas prosper over the lifetime of the next government.
“We have launched a manifesto now because our policies are long-term and candidates putting themselves forward for next year’s election need to be thinking ahead.
“In the Midlands we will be making sure all candidates are aware of our manifesto, and our advisers will be happy to brief all politicians on the often-complex issues specific to rural areas.”