Our Chief Executive Tim Bonner writes:
This time next week the votes will have been counted, the General Election will be over and the work of the new government will begin. From Friday 9th June it will be clear what the political landscape will look like for the immediate future and we will be there to grasp any and all opportunities that come our way. Our own Rural Charter sets out our stall across several headings and our thanks to all who have emailed their candidates, asking them to sign up to it. With a week to go, there is still time for you to take part in that process as it will provide our lobbying team with valuable information as to where candidates stand. Specifically there are five policies we want to see at the heart of the next government’s agenda:
- to overturn the Hunting Act and recognise the value of shooting and fishing
- to put the interests of rural communities front and centre of Brexit negotiations
- to ‘Buy British’ and support our farmers and producers
- to connect the countryside by delivering first class digital connectivity
- to tackle crime in rural areas
Use our online platform to take part in our Rural Charter pledge:
You can also view our comparison document, putting the three main parties’ manifesto commitments on rural issues next to each other for comparison, as well as providing links to the manifestos of other parties including the SNP, Plaid Cymru and UKIP.
The driver for this General Election has been Brexit, and our own brochure on the issue sets out the issues that need to be addressed in order to sustain a living and working countryside outside of the EU. The new Government that will form next week will have to address many important rural issues, and Brexit will be front and centre of the work of the next Parliament. Decisions that are made in relation to trade, regulations, agricultural and environmental policies, will shape the future of our countryside for many years to come.
Having armed you with as many facts as we have, and making clear our own views on the most pressing issues facing our countryside, it only remains for you to make sure you cast your ballot next Thursday. Hopefully the turnout will reflect the importance of the next few years for the UK, so please make sure you take part.
Follow Tim @CA_TimB