Shropshire Star

Rural forum holds Q&A session with Government farming minister

Farmers' voices were heard when a Government minister visited south Shropshire for a rural question and answer session.

The Q&A session in Clun

Stuart Anderson, South Shropshire’s Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, welcomed the Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer MP, to Shropshire, on February 15. They were joined by Craig Williams, the MP for Montgomeryshire, and Lizzie Hacking, chair of the Conservative Rural Forum, for a panel event with residents.

The event took place at a packed Clun Memorial Hall and included a range of questions about the future of the countryside, agriculture, fisheries, and food.

There were also questions on the support available for local farmers and how the Government intends to deliver on its commitment to continue producing at least 60 per cent of the food consumed in the UK.

The Minister also spoke about government investment to support the sector, which totals £2.4 billion a year to help farmers produce food profitably and sustainably while protecting the natural environment. He added that the new schemes offered something for every type of farm, and that a crucial part of their development has been to listen to farmers’ feedback.

Stuart Anderson said he would continue to listen to and support farmers in his role as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate and, if elected, Member of Parliament for South Shropshire.

“I was delighted to invite Farming Minister Mark Spencer MP and Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams to Shropshire together with Lizzie Hacking from the Conservative Rural Forum for a rural Q&A.

"Supporting farming communities is a key part of my campaign and I am delighted that the Minister got to hear directly from local residents including farmers in Shropshire about what more the Government could do to support rural areas like ours. I am encouraged by the Minister’s commitment to places like Shropshire and the farming sector as a whole, building on the annual investment of £2.4 billion through a range of schemes for farmers and others. If elected, I will continue to champion these communities at the very highest levels.”

Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “Farmers across the country are keeping the nation fed while delivering fantastic outcomes for the environment. We will continue to support them to do so through our £2.4 billion of annual investment. It was excellent to receive feedback from residents including farmers in Shropshire. I will continue to do all that I can to support and work closely with them to take on board their feedback to ensure that our schemes work in the best possible way so farmers can run profitable and sustainable businesses into the future.”