7 November 1997

Government shake-up spells out rural policy

GOVERNMENT is to drop many of the proposals within the Conservative administrations Rural White Paper, and has consigned the Tories policy of holding annual updates "to the dustbin".

A MAFF spokesman said the Labour government would, instead, concentrate on its own detailed countryside policies.

One of the central proposals is the creation of regional development agencies (RDAs), which many fear will replace the Rural Development Commission.

The governments main countryside adviser, the Countryside Commission, warned that the new bodies must protect and enhance the natural beauty and amenity of the environment.

Representation

Speaking at the Town and Country Planning Authority conference in London on Tuesday, CC chief executive Richard Wakeford added: "The new bodies must have representation from those who understand and are committed to the principles of a living countryside."