Labour call for government to ‘work closer with Europe’ to tackle ‘excessive red tape in farming’
‘We need to work harder to cut unnecessary ‘red tape’ and that’s why we need a strong voice in Europe’ – Coun Scott Dickinson, Business Chair Northumberland County Council
Labour councillors in Northumberland have added their weight to a ‘call by a task force set up to cut red tape in the farming industry.
The snappily titled ‘Farming Regulation Task Force Implementation Group’ which was set up by the coalition government and includes experts and representatives from the UK farming industry has published its initial recommendations as a way to ‘reduce the regulatory burden on farmers’ and it recommended that the UK’s engagement in the EU should be greater, earlier and more in partnership with the industry, advising that the government should do more to press the European Commission to apply its own principles in its Communication on Smart Regulation.
Labour in Northumberland have welcomed the task force recommendations and have called for coalition MP’s in the county to ‘lobby harder’ to pressure MEP’s to make the case direct to the European Commission. The Labour administration at County Hall are actively looking at the potential to set up a ‘Rural Issues Task and Finish group to tackle issues faced by the county farming industry and rural communities.
The industry accounts for 18% of the enterprise sector in Northumberland and employs 18,000 employees across the county and is three times higher than the UK average (ONS Inter-departmental Business Register).
Councillor Scott Dickinson who represents Druridge Bay said
‘This non-partisan report shows the price of ignoring the EU and it’s time to stop the political posturing and start to tackle the unnecessary red tape which impedes the growth of the farming sector in Northumberland. We need to be working together to make the case for Northumberland farming and the Labour party in Northumberland will make sure the county council uses its role as a strategic body to support this vitally important sector’.