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MP issues challenge to new RPA boss

February 2, 2017 1:40 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the new Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency to ensure that no farmers have to experience a repeat of last year, when many were left waiting a year to receive payments.

On Tuesday, former Chief Executive Mark Grimshaw announced his resignation after six years in the job. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Paul Caldwell, who has worked for the RPA since 2001 and held a number of senior positions.

Tim has written to the new Interim Chief Executive to congratulate him on his appointment, and call on him to ensure that no farmers have to repeat the experience of last year's scheme, when many were left without their payments for over a year. He has also called for outstanding 2015 cases to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

Tim said: "Last year's payment scheme was a disaster, and hit local common land farmers particularly badly. No one should have to wait over a year to receive money they are owed. It is reassuring to see that the overall figures for the number of payments made are looking so much better this year than last, but the RPA must not be complacent about the remaining cases. I have written to the new interim head of the RPA to welcome him to his role, and call on him him to ensure that no farmers have to repeat last year's terrible experience. Cases still outstanding from 2015 must be dealt with as a matter of urgency."