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)
On Monday 22 the Prime Minister gave a statement to the House of Commons on her attendance at the European Council Summit in Brussels. She said that the EU and the UK had reached a ‘broad agreement’ on the structure and scope of the future relationship, and that ‘95 per cent of the Withdrawal Agreement’ had been settled. Also on Monday the Communities and Local Government Committee heard evidence as part of their ongoing investigation into the future of high streets and town centres. The session largely focussed on building and land ownership in town centres.
On Tuesday 23 the Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy heard evidence on how best the Government could support the rural economy. Later, the Public Bill Committee met to begin its scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill.
On Wednesday 24 October the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee heard evidence from the farming and rural business sector as part of the ongoing scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill. During the morning session the focus was on the agricultural supply chain.
The Country Land and Business Association, the Tenant Farmers Association and the National Farmers’ Union were represented in the later session.
Also on Wednesday, the House of Lords European Union Select Committee released a report in which it warns that Brexit could mean the UK loses access to EU alerts on animal and plant disease threats, potentially endangering biosecurity. The Committee’s report urged the Government to seek continued participation in the EU system as the UK does not currently have the mechanisms or legislation in place to replace the system.
On Monday 29 the Chancellor is to deliver his annual budget speech in the House of Commons. In the House of Lords, Lord Greaves is to take questions on investment in the railway network in North England.
On Tuesday 30 the Public Bill Committee meets to scrutinise the Agriculture Bill, while the House of Lords Rural Economy Select Committee hears oral evidence from the National Trust, Cumbria Tourism and VisitBritain as part of its investigation into tourism infrastructure in rural areas.
The House of Commons Select Committee on Transport takes oral evidence on the health of the bus market.
On the same day, the APPG for Post Offices is to meet to discuss the announcement of 74 Post Office branch closures, and the APPG for Small Shops meets to discuss the impact of the budget on small shops.
At 2.30pm the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee hears evidence for the Care Quality Commission’s upcoming State of Care Report, and the House of Lords Regenerating Seaside Towns Committee will take evidence from the licensed trade sector and the chairs of the APPG for Tourism, Leisure and the Hospitality Industry as well as the APPG for the Visitor’s Economy.
On Wednesday the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee takes evidence from Secretary of State Michael Gove and Minister George Eustice as part of ongoing scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill.
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