The Countryside Alliance welcomed Liz Truss, Secretary of State for DEFRA, to our reception at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday 4th October 2015. The Secretary of State spoke warm words about the countryside and reiterated her and the Government’s support for the work of the Countryside Alliance.The reception was well attended with over 70 guests including 30 Members of Parliament. It was good to see new faces including Rebecca Pow MP (Taunton Deane) and Jo Churchill MP (Bury St Edmunds) both elected at the General Election in May along with the more familiar faces of Bill Wiggin MP (North Herefordshire) and Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex).Tim Bonner; Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance also spoke at the reception and said “the government should be ambitious for rural communities” in addressing issues such as affordable rural housing and access to high-speed broadband. He also said that politicians needed to stand up for the “quite majority” on issues such as wildlife management where common sense can be ignored by political opportunism and social media pressure.The Countryside Alliance are hosting two other events at the Conservative Party Conference on the themes of countryside conservation and rural broadband. A write up of each of these events will be available shortly.A write-up of our broadband event at the Labour Conference in Brighton can be found here while a piece on our debate on conservation can be read here. A summary of our event on rural policy at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth is also available here.