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Government must act quicker to help farmers on common land says MP

January 29, 2013 12:42 PM

Rural TFSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Government to take action to help farmers who have part of their farm wrongly labelled as 'common land'.

Tim has been lobbying the Government on this issue and was successful in convincing the Government to change the rules, with the passing of the Commons Act 2006. However, DEFRA Minster Richard Benyon MP has now said in a ministerial reply that the rules will not be changed until 2015 at the earliest.

Mr Benyon said: "DEFRA has published the results of the red tape challenge which contains a commitment under the Biodiversity, Wildlife, Management, Landscape, Countryside and Recreation theme to fully commence Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 throughout England. This supersedes previous plans regards commencement. However, as you are already aware, whilst the two-tier legal system was intended to be short-lived, because it was intended that national implementation would follow the two-year pioneer, it is unfortunately the case that implementation is unlikely to happen within the life of the present Parliament (i.e before 2015). This delay has been caused by a combination of a lack of resources and other priorities."

Tim said: "Saying the Government has other priorities is not good enough for farmers in the Lake District who are affected by the current complex mess of legislation. Many are struggling with the current two-tier system and asking them to wait at least another two years for changes to be made is unacceptable. I will keep lobbying the Government and pressing them to implement the rule changes, which are not controversial, sooner."