19 May 2000

Tories say: Tell us which red tape is worst

FARMERS and landowners who find their hopes of diversifying obstructed by "costly and bureaucratic obstacles" have been asked to write to the Conservative Party.

The party is looking at new policies to ease many of the burdens currently associated with diversification.

Conservative leader William Hague, speaking at the official opening of Aske Stables, a new office accommodation unit near Richmond, North Yorkshire, said: "Issues like diversification have never been higher on the agenda for Britains farmers, and for one good reason – because farming, the countryside and our entire rural way of life is under threat as never before. Put bluntly, the countryside faces an uncertain and bleak future.

"We [the Conservatives] would like to hear direct from farmers which of the bureaucratic obstacles they would most like to see removed." &#42