East Anglian farmers’ leaders welcome Government’s red tape pledge

FARMER and landowner groups have welcomed this week’s Government pledge to free the industry of unnecessary red tape.

National Farmers’ Union East spokesman Brian Finnerty said the issue of duplicate inspections in particular was one which it had been tackling here.

“We have been working very closely, particularly with Suffolk Trading Standards, to look at this issue,” said Mr Finnerty. “We have got a meeting coming up in March of our farming inspection forum looking at ways of taking this forward in our region.”

The Government issued its pledge to “free-up” farming following the publication of its response to the Farming Regulation Task Force led by Richard Macdonald.

The NFU is hoping that inspections by different organisations can be streamlined to prevent duplication.

It is calling for words to be turned into action over the pledge.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said Farming Minister Jim Paice’s bid to slash red tape would allow farm businesses in the region to prosper, but warned Government must follow through with the recommendations.

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CLA regional director Nicola Currie said: “The CLA has always supported the principle of ‘earned recognition’ and we believe clear implementation will lead to a much-needed reduction in red tape and form-filling for agricultural businesses.

“However, it’s the Government’s duty to ensure barriers to rural economic growth are removed as quickly as possible, particularly around planning policy, non-planning consents and village greens. This is essential for rural businesses to play their part in delivering sustainable development.”