TFA rails at rent levels
UNREALISTIC rent demands and council sell-offs were central issues at the Tenant Farmers Association annual meeting on Wednesday.
TFA chairman Reg Haydon said returns for stock and grain had fallen by up to 40% in the past 12 months. Yet many landlords were asking for unrealistic rent increases of 10%-15% based on 1995 profitability levels. He encouraged tenants to use agents to fight cases if their own negotiations failed.
He also urged producers to team up with livestock markets and the Assured British Meat initiative. "Consolidation of all UK producers supporting livestock markets would create the biggest producer group in the country," he said.
Mr Haydon called the sell-off of county council holdings short sighted and contrary to the councils duty as smallholding authorities.
But junior farm minister Elliot Morley offered no encouragement when he said ministers were powerless to intervene with sell-off programmes and could not impose a moratorium on sales.
He added that a key to Labour policy was the need for far more decisions to be taken at local and not national level.