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Wales confirms emergency measures to support farmers during COVID-19 outbreak

01 April 2020

Wales' Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has confirmed that the Single Application Form (SAF) deadline is now extended to 15th June 2020, giving an extra month to complete forms. She has also confirmed that the Crop Diversification requirements are being removed for BPS 2020.

To alleviate potential cash flow issues, an additional £5.5m has been allocated for the BPS and Glastir 2019 support scheme which has re-opened today for farmers who have not received their BPS and/ or Glastir 2019 payment as yet.

A Press Release is available on the Welsh Government website.

CLA and TFA Joint Statement in Challenging Times

31 March 2020

In a joint statement the TFA and CLA, with DEFRA’s support, are appealing to all rural landlords and tenants to work together collaboratively and compassionately during this unprecedented time.  The plea is made in respect of all tenancy matters, but particularly rent payments, notices to quit and finalising new tenancy agreements.

The full statement is available on the TFA and CLA websites.

Covid-19: Advice for people with animals

27 March 2020

The Government has published advice for pet owners and livestock keepers during the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals

Covid-19: Guidance on access to green spaces

27 March 2020

The Government has published guidance on access to green spaces, encouraging people to use green spaces near their home for exercise and not to travel to get to them.

Covid-19: Government advice on moving house during the lockdown

27 March 2020

The Government has published advice on moving house during the lockdown for the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

COVID-19: Letter from the Environment Secretary

27 March 2020

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, has written an open letter to the food industry thanking all those involved for their efforts so far in supporting the nation during the coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19: Government support for self-employed

26 March 2020

On 26th March Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that self-employed workers will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The money will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.

 

NEW PODCAST on EPCs and MEES

26 March 2020

Podcast No. 6 - EPCs and MEES for domestic property: what you need to know

Energy efficiency in buildings is a key area for Government to tackle if it is to meet the deadline for net zero carbon by 2050. Kate Russell of the CAAV explains how the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards are being implemented for let residential property in England and Wales at the moment and looks ahead to where standards will go in future.

​​

Also available on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Catch-up on previous episodes here

Covid-19: Government to pay wages

20 March 2020

The Chancellor has announced today (20th March) that the Government will step in and pay up to 80% of wages for employees not working due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guidance for businesses during CV-19 outbreak

20 March 2020

Many professional firms are publishing useful guidance on their websites for businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. As examples of what is available, Michelmores solicitors has published guidance for employers and Roythornes solicitors has published information on employment issues for farm businesses.

DEFRA relaxes crop diversification rules and confirms £6m funding for flood-affected farmers

20 March 2020

DEFRA has confirmed that the crop diversification rules under "greening" will not apply for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2020 applications. This is to assist farmers in England who have been unable to establish crops because of the prolonged wet weather and flooding.

In addition, the Farming Recovery Fund is being further extended with £6 million funding to assist farmers affected by flooding during February 2020. This support is being made available to eligible farmers in parts of East and North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire and Herefordshire.

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Bank of England cuts base rate to 0.1%

19 March 2020

The Bank of England has cut the base rate to 0.1% with effect from 19th March 2020, as part of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
 

Protection for private renters during Covid-19 outbreak

18 March 2020

The Prime Minister has said that he will introduce legislation to prevent tenants in the private rented sector from being evicted if they are unable to pay rent due to lost earnings because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Further details are awaited.

DEFRA Response to Agricultural Tenancies Consultation

18 March 2020

DEFRA has published its response to the consultation on agricultural tenancy reform in England. A response from the Welsh Government is also expected.

Government announces emergency Coronavirus Bill

18 March 2020

The government has annouced the introduction of the Coronavirus Emergency Measures Bill to enable action in five key areas:-

1. increasing the available health and social care workforce
2. easing the burden of frontline staff
3. containing and slowing the virus
4. managing the deceased with respect and dignity
5. supporting people 

The legislation is to be time-limited for two years. Further details on the powers to be introduced can be found on the GOV.UK website. The Bill is due to be introduced into Parliament tomorrow (19th March).

Wales confirms emergency support for businesses affected by coronavirus

17 March 2020

As part of a package of financial support for businesses affected by coronavirus, the Welsh Government has confirmed:

  • 100% business rates relief will be apply for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less; 
  • A £5,000 reduction in business rates for pubs with a rateable value between £51,000 and £100,000; and
  • £100m grant funding for small businesses - further details on this grant scheme "will be confirmed as soon as possible."

£1 million for Future Farming Resilience Funding

16 March 2020

DEFRA has confirmed that nine organisations have been awarded a proportion of £1 million funding being made available as part of a Future Farming Resilience pilot. The projects approved range from one to one advice to workshops and should assess the effectiveness of these approaches in supporting farmers and land managers through the seven year agricultural transition period from 2021. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website and DEFRA's Blog.

Two month window opens for BPS 2020 applications and Stewardship claims

12 March 2020

The two month window for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2020 applications and annual revenue claims for existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements has opened. BPS applications and CS/ ES claims must be submitted by 15th May 2020 to avoid late claim penalties. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

NEW PODCAST on the 2020 Budget

12 March 2020

Following yesterday’s budget announcement, we have recorded a new podcast episode.

This is the first budget of Boris Johnson’s majority government and the newly appointed Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Packed with announcements and substantial spending commitments, what does it all mean for rural business owners? Tune in to hear Jeremy Moody’s expert analysis of the policy changes and new fiscal measures.

Also available on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts

Catch-up on previous episodes here

 

UK interest rate cut to 0.25%

11 March 2020

The Bank of England has cut the interest rate to 0.25% today (11th March 2020) as part of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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 GOV.uk 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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