Angela Backs British Farming
Angela recently attended a reception in Westminster yesterday where the NFU stressed the importance of food security and the need to back British farming following the EU referendum result.
“The NFU event in parliament was a great opportunity to talk about the future of farming outside the EU. Farmers in [constituency] work incredibly hard to produce high-quality food and manage our beautiful countryside and they need assurances that the UK government will provide them with the support they need to increase their competitiveness, profitability and productivity as we move forward.
“I was very happy to sign the NFU’s post-referendum pledge to Back British Farming and I will do all I can to ensure that we build a domestic agricultural policy which is adapted to our needs, easy to understand and simple to administer.”
The NFU is engaging with Government to ensure a strong basis of support for the farming sector – the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink, which is worth £108billion. NFU President, Meurig Raymond, said it is important that agriculture is part of the political conversation right from the start of talks on new domestic policies.
Mr Raymond said:
“This event was the perfect opportunity to urge MPs across the political spectrum not to let the Government ignore the economic importance of the agricultural sector – we want to see action being taken to ensure farming in this country has a thriving future outside of the EU. " Food security is not a party-political issue. MPs of all colours should be taking the farming sector very seriously – farmers’ ability to feed the nation, and play a part in feeding the world, depends on it.
"The impact of Brexit on the farming sector is huge; trade agreements, access to labour, farm support and regulation are all crucial to agriculture’s future. We’re now presented with a blank canvas for a domestic agricultural policy which is an opportunity for parliament to shape a prosperous future for farming in this country.”
Plant free trees with help from the Woodland Trust
Schools across north Sheffield and west Barnsley are being offered the chance to connect with nature and improve their local area by planting trees – for free.
Children can look forward to planting a copse (small group of trees) or hedge, which can provide a wild harvest, or a burst of year round colour.
Over the next four years, Defra is supporting The Woodland Trust to offer an additional 400,000 British native trees to up to 7000 state funded primary schools in England.
As well as free tree packs, for eligible schools, there’s help with finding somewhere else to plant if there isn’t room in school grounds; protection to help the trees grow; and on-line curriculum-linked resources to support teachers’ lesson plans.
Angel Smith said: “This great opportunity will help schools improve their local environment and enable children to learn about nature. Trees bring enormous benefits to our local areas and these children will we be able to see these trees grow and develop as they themselves mature and become adults.”
Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of The Woodland Trust said:
“It’s vitally important children get the chance to plant a tree. We know from our research it’s a memory they'll treasure for years to come, and often starts their relationship off with the natural world and all the benefits that brings.
“This scheme offers schools which have found it hard in the past, a new way to plant trees, and bring an oasis of green into their community.”
The closing date for applications is September 9th 2016 for tree delivery in November.
Minister confirms South Yorkshire link to HS3
The Transport Minister, Andrew Jones has confirmed to Angela Smith MP, campaigner for better cross Pennine links and local MP, that the government is actively looking at making sure Sheffield and the wider City Region are connected to the government’s plans to build a new rail route across the Pennines.
She got the confirmation in a recent exchange in the Commons between herself and the Minister. After being specifically asked by the Angela whether South Yorkshire was part of the plans, the Minister said; “We are working to establish better rail connections across the whole of the north of England. In March 2015, the Government and Transport for the North set out the vision for the northern powerhouse rail network—HS3, as it is sometimes called. South Yorkshire is certainly part of those plans.” Commenting further he told the House that it was the government’s aim to make sure the cities of Sheffield and Manchester had at least six journeys per hour and that travel time would be 30 mins, saying;
“That ambition includes, for example, six trains an hour with 30-minute journey times between Sheffield city centre and Manchester, and better connectivity for passengers from south Yorkshire to Manchester airport.” He also confirmed the Government was actively looking at building a road tunnel under the Peninnes to take the pressure off the A57 and the A628, more commonly known as the Snake Pass and the Woodhead pass respectively, telling the House that the Chancellor has allocated £75 million to look in detail at the case for building such a road. Commenting on the exchange.
Angela said, Ever since I entered Parliament myself along with other campaigners have been making the case for new transport links across the Peninnes. It is encouraging that the government is at last taking our concerns seriously and actively looking to make step change improvements. The evidence is now stacking up that poor connectivity is holding back Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
I am looking forward to the government reporting back in the autumn with more details of the proposals as they progress.”