MAJOR BOOST TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR A RURAL STRATEGY:
The Independent Food, Farming & Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA in its report launched on Tuesday 16th July ‘Our Future in the Land’ has added its voice to the calls by the RSN and the House of Lords Select Committee for a comprehensive Rural Strategy (more to follow)
Parliament returned from summer recess on Tuesday 4 September. The Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Committee published a first round of written evidence submitted to its inquiry, High streets and town centres in 2030, ahead of an oral hearing on Monday 10 September. The inquiry plans to examine the future role of the high street in relation to the economy, cohesion and cultural life of the local community. It will also assess whether councils have the necessary tools such as planning, licensing and tax raising powers to ensure local areas flourish in the future.
Separately, Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, tweeted about the full fibre broadband rollout that was launched in July this year, saying this had ’achieved 95% coverage across the UK and is continuing to reach rural areas’.
He added that the plans would ‘ensure rural areas are not left behind’. On Thursday 6th September, the Home Secretary and the Environment Secretary jointly announced a pilot scheme to allow more migrant workers into the country to work on UK farms. Fruit and vegetable farmers will be able to employ up to 2,500 workers from outside the EU for up to 6 months to alleviate labour shortages.
On Monday the HCLG Committee is to hold an oral evidence session as part of their inquiry into the future of high streets, which can be viewed here at 4.15pm. On Tuesday, the Environmental Audit Committee is to hold an oral evidence session on sustainable seas at 10.15am.
Then at 3.25pm in the House of Lords the Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee will meet to hear evidence on the matter of regenerating seaside towns. DEFRA has called for evidence on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) as part of the design of the new Agriculture Bill that will replace the Common Agricultural Policy after Brexit.
Parliament will once again be in recess as of Friday to make time for party conferences until 9 October.
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