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Localism Bill published

The Localism Bill has been laid before Parliament. A detailed CAAV Briefing Note will be posted under Members' Documents shortly. The bill itself can be downloaded from the Parliament website.

New RPA Chief Executive appointed

Following the appointment of an interim RPA Chief Executive, Richard Judge, earlier this year when former the Chief Executive, Tony Cooper, departed, DEFRA has now appointed a new Chief Executive, Mark Grimshaw, who has been in charge of the Child Support Agency over the past two years. Mr. Grimshaw will be taking up his role with the RPA on 17th January 2011. Further information is available on the DEFRA website....

Wales launches 10 year food strategy

Following extended consultation, the Welsh Assembly Government has launched its 10 year food strategy 'Food for Wales, Food from Wales 2010-2020. Further information, including the strategy document, is available on the Welsh Assembly Government.

Scotland Briefing cancelled due to weather conditions

The Scottish Briefing Event planned for Edinburgh on Thursday has been cancelled due to the ongoing poor weather conditions which continue to make travel difficult. We will advise members of a new date for this event in due course.

Payment window for Single Payment Scheme 2010 opens

The 2010 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) window opens today and the RPA has commenced making payments to farmers. Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has issued a statement to Parliament which may be viewed on the DEFRA website.

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a Statement to the House of Commons in response to the Office of Budgetary Responsibility's first Autumn Forecast, which has replaced what used to be the Pre-Budget Report.

CAAV Members' Briefing: inc. EU audit & Environmental Stewardship, CAP post 2013 - 15 December 2010

There will be a half day briefing for CAAV members on 15th December in Birmingham which will cover a range of current topics and emerging issues including:- Environmental Stewardship changes as a consequence of the EU audit (changes to applications and payments) DEFRA Spending Review SPS Online for agents SPS entitlements transfers for 2011 CAP reform post 2013 Please contact Elaine Neades for further information and booking - or 01594 832979....

Commission publishes CAP reform post 2013 Communication

The European Commission has published their official communication relating to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2013. For further information please go to the following links. We will provide further briefing on this website in due course. The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future (Commission communication) Press release: Background note: Commission Communication on the future of...

DEFRA announces Environmental Stewardship payment changes as result of EU audit

DEFRA has announced how payments for Environmental Stewardship agreement holders will change as a result of an EU audit. Further details have also been given with regard to the budget available for HLS in terms of the temporary suspension to HLS agreements and the Comprehensive Spending Review. Further information is available on the Natural England website. Further briefing on these changes will be given on this website as well as at the CAAV Members' Briefing on 15th December in Birmingham....

DEFRA not to sell off National Parks

Following a report on Farming Today that DEFRA was to sell off National Parks in England, DEFRA has today confirmed that is not the case, particularly as the majority of them are privately owned. Further information is available on the DEFRA website.

Pack Inquiry Report into Agricultural Support in Scotland

The Brain Pack Inquiry Report into the future of support for agriculture in Scotland has been published today and can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website. More detail on the report will be available to CAAV members later today.

The Prince's Countryside Fund opens for applications

The Prince's Countryside Fund is open for applications for funding for projects which will help to secure a sustainable future for British farming. The current application window closes on 1st December 2010. For further information, visit The Prince's Countryside Fund website.

BIS White Paper on local growth

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has published a white paper on Local Growth, which can be downloaded from the BIS website.

Scotland not to sell off Forests

Following the Welsh Assembly Government's confirmation earlier this week that they were not intending to sell off forests in Wales, the Scottish Government has also stated that this is similarly the case in Scotland. Further information is available on the Forestry Commission Scotland website.

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