Lincolnshire MPs welcome farming minister to summit

Lincolnshire MPs Dr Caroline Johnson and Gareth Davies welcomed Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer to meet with local farmers, the Environment Agency, the NFU, Lincolnshire Police and council representatives.
Farming Minister, Mark Spencer with MPs Gareth Davies and Dr Caroline Johnson.Farming Minister, Mark Spencer with MPs Gareth Davies and Dr Caroline Johnson.
Farming Minister, Mark Spencer with MPs Gareth Davies and Dr Caroline Johnson.

The summit, which took place on Thursday at Grantham’s Angel & Royal Hotel, was hosted by Grantham and Stamford MP Mr Davies and Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Dr Johnson (Sleaford and North Hykeham), with a number of farmers in attendance from each constituency.

The discussion covered several topics, including the recovery from recent flooding following Storm Henk, how farmers are harnessing new technology to enhance their produce, grant funding, and how progress is being made to tackle rural crime.

As well as hearing the views of local farmers first-hand, the Farming Minister was able to respond to questions and outline the Government’s positions across a variety of issues, such as the structure of payment schemes and the transition to a new approach which rewards farmers for providing public goods.

The Environment Agency provided an update on their flood response efforts, and their plans for future work which should assist local farmers and other residents in mitigating future flooding. Farmers were able to offer their own suggestions on how this might be achieved, and provide feedback on their own recent experiences.

Lincolnshire Police also provided insight into the work of their dedicated Rural Crime Action Team, which the NFU confirmed had led to a marked reduction in incidents and complaints arising from criminal activities such as hare coursing. In this, the Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones spoke on the benefit of new powers granted through national legislation and the importance of reporting by farmers and others in rural communities.