13 October 1995

Hill campaign is supported

SUPPORT for hill farmers campaign to retain adequate hill livestock compensatory allowances has come from Derbyshire MP Charles Hendry.

After a visit to a Sheffield farm, the Conservative High Peak MP promised to write to chancellor Kenneth Clarke and farm minister Douglas Hogg to emphasise the importance of HLCA payments.

Peter Atkin, Rowlee Farm, Bamford, who hosted the visit, said HLCA payments were desperately needed to keep young people in the hills. "The older farmers will soon be gone and there are few young farmers following through. In a few years time hill farmers will be a rare breed," he warned.

Environmentally sensitive area payments had taken much of the financial support aimed at the upland farmer away from him and his immediate community, he added.

Derbyshire NFU also met Euro-MP Arlene McCarthy and Labours European farm spokesman David Thomas.

The politicians were told that funds from Euro-coffers were not reaching the right people. The farmers said schools, post-offices and churches, which were the hub of the rural community, must be retained. They called for payments designed specifically to help rural based schools.