South Holland and Deepings parliamentary candidates on farming issues

The NFU's Andrew Cross.

The NFU's Andrew Cross.

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In my last article, I mentioned we were in the process of arranging meetings with the candidates for the South Holland & Deepings parliamentary constituency, writes Andrew Cross, NFU group secretary.

As an organisation dedicated to the farming community, we were interested to hear the opinions of the various candidates.

Pictured (from left) are Tony Gent, NFU group secretary Diane Hunt, branch chairman Stafford Proctor, branch vice-chairman Gavin Lane, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate George Smid and Sue Lamb.

Pictured (from left) are Tony Gent, NFU group secretary Diane Hunt, branch chairman Stafford Proctor, branch vice-chairman Gavin Lane, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate George Smid and Sue Lamb.

So far we have hosted meetings, at our Springfields offices, with both John Hayes MP (Con) and George Smid (Lib Dem), both chaired by branch chairman Stafford Proctor and attended by branch membership.

It was encouraging to hear that both candidates pledged wholehearted support to a range of issues directly affecting the farming community including flood defence and the work of the Wash Frontage Group, the powers of the Grocery Code Adjudicator, CAP reform, availability of labour, rural crime and education funding in addition to rural broadband and mobile coverage, an issue I am personally well aware of.

Whatever the result of the forthcoming General Election, I am sure that the readership would agree that it is vitally important that we continue to promote the importance of agriculture and horticulture to the local economy, responsible as it is for the production of a large proportion of the food on our plates.

At the meeting last Monday with Liberal Democrat candidate George Smid were Tony Gent, group secretary Diane Hunt, branch chairman Stafford Proctor, branch vice-chairman Gavin Lane and Sue Lamb.