10 September 1999

Date is set for march & rally

THE farmers march and rally during the Labour Party conference at Bournemouth will take place on Mon, Sept 27.

Richard Haddock, Devon NFU chairman and one of the organisers, is urging as many as possible, including allied trades, to make the effort to get to Bournemouth.

"We need to make it the biggest demonstration ever or the government will ignore us. I would like to see every branch send at least a coach-load and I would like to see children and families there. If you cannot leave the farm, send the rest of the family," he said.

Prime minister Tony Blair has been invited to address the rally after the march. "If he doesnt come it means he has turned his back on British agriculture," said Mr Haddock. Other speakers will include MPs and NFU president Ben Gill.

Full details about the days activities will be announced nearer the date, said Mr Haddock. He added that he hoped better-off farmers might feel able to help with travel expenses so that those in desperate financial straits could attend.