MP welcomes plans to cut red tape on farm inspections

Anne-Marie Trevelya and Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Anne-Marie Trevelya and Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

North Northumberland’s MP has welcomed plans to cut bureaucracy for farmers, announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan referred to the multiple inspections to which farmers are currently subject, by central government, the local authority and private-sector audits, many of which gather similar types of information.

She has heard from local farmers the level of frustration these multiple visits cause and raised the issue with the Farming Minister, George Eustice, last month.

The Chancellor’s statement announced the establishment of the Single Farm Inspection Taskforce, which will aim to cut inspections by 20,000 by 2019/20.

Mrs Trevelyan said: “I am pleased the Government is listening to concerns raised by farmers across Northumberland. Visits from multiple agencies, which gather much of the same information, is costly and time-consuming for our farmers.

“I have asked local farmers to send me case studies of how this problem has affected them, which I will now be able to feed in to this taskforce to enable them to develop an accurate picture of how this needless bureaucracy is burdening our farming community.”

Elsewhere in the Defra settlement, £350million of funding for public forests, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be protected, but the department will reduce its administration budgets by 26 per cent by 2019/20.