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Farmers given chance to share views with farming minister in Grantham

Farmers have had the chance to share their views with MPs.

The farming minister, MP Mark Spencer, visited The Angel and Royal Hotel, in Grantham, last Thursday (February 1) to meet with Lincolnshire farmers, as well as representatives from the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Police, the NFU and council leaders.

The summit, hosted by Gareth Davies MP for Grantham and Stamford (Con) and Dr Caroline Johnson MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Con), discussed several topics including recovery from Storm Henk, how farmers are using new technology for their produce and what progress was being made to tackle rural crime.

Left to right: Gareth Davies MP, Farming Minister Mark Spencer MP, Dr Caroline Johnson MP
Left to right: Gareth Davies MP, Farming Minister Mark Spencer MP, Dr Caroline Johnson MP

Mr Davies said: “I was delighted to be able to host this summit in Grantham and I am pleased that farmers from right across our corner of Lincolnshire were able to put their questions to the farming minister and key partners across the agricultural sector.

“Our farmers are at the very heart of our rural communities, and I will always back our farmers to succeed.”

As well as hearing from farmers, the farming minister was able to share the government’s perspective on issues including the structure of payment schemes and the transition to a new approach which rewards farmers for providing public goods.

Mr Spencer said: “Our flexible new farming schemes and continued investment in technology and automation are already delivering positive outcomes for domestic food production and the environment.

“It was great to be on the ground in Lincolnshire to hear how these initiatives are having a real impact.

“It is always a pleasure to speak directly to farmers to understand what we can do to support them to continue to produce great British food.”

The Environment Agency provided an update on its flood response efforts and its plans for the future to assist farmers and rural residents in preventing future flooding.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones (Con) also provided an insight into the work the force is doing with the Rural Crime Action Team, which the NFU confirmed had led to a reduction in complaints about criminal activities like hare coursing.

He said: “It is always great to be able to engage with local farmers who are the backbone of our rural communities on what we can do to further crackdown on rural crime.

“Rural crime tends to go unreported, and I would encourage anyone who witnesses it taking place to notify us so that our dedicated team can tackle it head on.”

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