Newly-promoted Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today signalled the Government’s desire to boost businesses in places such as Shropshire, admitting that for too long rural England had been neglected by Westminster.
Mr Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, unveiled the first ‘rural contract’ today, saying it would give the shires new powers to hold the Government to account.
Hopes have been growing that Mr Paterson will be able to champion issues important to Shropshire after he was promoted to head up the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in David Cameron’s reshuffle last week.
Now he has announced that under the new Rural Statement agenda, the Government vows to do more for places like Shropshire.
He said: “Rural economic growth is vital for this country. The Government’s role is to ensure that rural areas have all the infrastructure they need to grow.
“Businesses should then be free from the unnecessary red tape that has got in the way of rural economic growth in the past.
“For too long, rural England was neglected by central Government and its businesses struggled to achieve their ambitions.”
Harry Cotterell, President of the Country Land & Business Association, said: “It is vital Defra understands the needs and interests of rural businesses as well as those who live and work in rural areas.”