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Scotland begins making CAP convergence payments to farmers and crofters

04 March 2020

The Scottish Government has made initial CAP convergence payments worth £86.2 million to over 17,400 farmers and crofters. This represents the first tranche of a £160 million convergence funding package. A further payment should be made in the "coming weeks". More information can be found in the Scottish Government's News Release.

RPA pays almost 99% of Basic Payment Scheme claimants

04 March 2020

The RPA has issued an update on payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship. The headline figures given in the update are:-

  • BPS 2020 payments have been made to almost 99% of eligible claimants (total value of £1.76 billion);
  • Environmental Stewardship (ES) - 77% of agreement holders should have received a full payment for ES 2019 annual revenue claims (total value of £133 million); and
  • Countryside Stewardship (CS) - 37% of agreement holders should have received a full payment for CS 2019 annual revenue claims.

The remaining ES and CS 2019 payments should be made by 30th June 2020, the end of the payment window.

NEW PODCAST on Residential Tenancies

02 March 2020

Episode No.4 - Residential Tenancies: Radical Reform in England – or is it?

Kate Russell of the CAAV explains the key measures set out in the Rented Homes Bill, including the proposed abolition of assured shorthold tenancies in England. This is the most significant change to the letting of residential property in England for forty years, but what will the real impact be for private landlords?

The full podcast is available below and on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Catch-up on previous episodes here

Environment Bill progresses with Second Reading

26 February 2020

The Environment Bill has been brought forward today for its Second Reading in the House of Commons, giving MPs the first opportunity to debate the new Bill. The Bill forms a key element of the government's commitment to an ambitious environmental programme and is one of the main vehicles for delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan. Further details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Eustice delivers speech at NFU Conference

26 February 2020

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, delivered his speech earlier this morning at the NFU Conference. The speech was originally scheduled for the first day of the Conference (yesterday) to coincide with the publication of the Agriculture Bill Policy Statement and the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) consultation, but had to be delayed due to a meeting of the Cabinet to discuss the latest flooding issues. The transcript of the speech can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

DEFRA publishes future farm support details

25 February 2020

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, will be delivering a speech at the NFU Conference tomorrow (Wednesday 26th February) and ahead of that has announced the publication today of:- 

A news release is available on the GOV.UK website.

NEW PODCAST on The Electronic Communications Code

23 February 2020

The Electronic Communications Code - still in stasis? 

Whilst the new Electronic Communications Code has been in place for over two years, there is still considerable frustration over the lack of progress in agreeing terms for new agreements. In this episode, Jeremy Moody talks us through the purpose and operation of the Code, the approach to assessing rents and he provides a full run down of two Upper Tribunal cases - CTIL v Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd and CTIL v Ashloch and AP Wireless.​

The full podcast is available below and on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Catch-up on previous episodes here

Wales' First Minister announces up £10 million emergency flood relief scheme

19 February 2020

Welsh Government's First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has confirmed that up to £10 million of funding is being made available under an emergency flood relief scheme. Further details are available on the Welsh Government website.

Agricultural Productivity Working Group Report

19 February 2020

The Agricultural Productivity Working Group have published their report to The Food and Drink Sector Council.

Download the Executive Summary.

Download the full report

Andrew Stephenson appointed HS2 Minister

19 February 2020

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, has been appointed Minister for HS2. He was previously a Minister in the Foreign Office and a Government Whip.

Seasonal Workers Pilot extended for 2020

19 February 2020

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has confirmed that the Seasonal Workers Pilot is to be extended in 2020 to support the horticultural sector. Up to 10,000 temporary workers may be employed for up to six months, compared with the previous 2,500 workers. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Government announces support package for areas affected by flooding

19 February 2020

Following the recent storms and flooding, the government has announced funding and support for those affected, including:-

  • A Community Recovery Grant - £500 financial hardship payments to cover short-term need;
  • 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months;
  • A Business Recovery Grant - up to £2,500 Business Recovery Grant for small and medium sized businesses with uninsurable losses; and
  • A Property Resilience Scheme - up to £5,000 funding for homes and businesses to pay for property improvements to increase resilience to flooding, such as installing flood doors and raising electrics off ground level

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Video Interview with Jeremy Moody at the Natural Capital Investment event

15 February 2020

Here is a video interview with Jeremy Moody when he spoke at the Natural Capital Investment event in London.   

NEW PODCAST on the Agriculture Bill – a watershed moment for British Agriculture

14 February 2020

Our NEW PODCAST has just gone live!

In this episode, Jeremy Moody gives an in-depth analysis of the new and eagerly anticipated Agriculture Bill. He talks through the phasing out of BPS in England, the payment of “public money” for the delivery of “public goods” and the proposed changes to agricultural tenancies. Whilst the Bill primarily focuses on future powers for England, Jeremy also provides commentary and comparison with the policies being developed in the other devolved countries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Listen here:

Also on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts


Eustice confirmed as new DEFRA Secretary of State

13 February 2020

George Eustice MP has been confirmed as the new DEFRA Secretary of State. Formerly the farming Minister, his promotion comes following the departure of Theresa Villiers earlier today as part of the Cabinet reshuffle.

Villiers no longer Environment Secretary

13 February 2020

As part of today's Cabinet reshuffle, it seems that Theresa Villiers has lost her role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We await further news on who will replace her.

Government funding to re-open Beeching rail lines

13 February 2020

The Government has pledged £500 million of funding for communities to develop proposals to re-open local railway lines, including those closed in the Beeching cuts. Further information is available on the website.

Government confirms plans to introduce import controls on EU goods

11 February 2020

The government has confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border once the transition period ends on 31st December 2020. Further details can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

HS2 announcement expected today (11th February)

11 February 2020

It is being widely reported in the media that the Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement later today on the future of the HS2 project, confirming that it will go ahead. Further briefing will follow in due course. 

Countryside Stewardship application window opens for 2021 agreements

11 February 2020

The Countryside Stewardship application window has opened today for agreements with a 1st January 2021 start date. Applications can be submitted for the Mid Tier, Higher Tier and the four Wildlife Offers. Further information and guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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