Suffolk County Farms Estate

07.04.2014 West Row cycle way (new views over the river)

Last Thursday evening I went to the East of England Rural Hustings at the National Farmers Union (NFU) Regional Office, in Willie Snaith Road, Newmarket, very much my stomping group, firstly I’ve known Willie Snaith all my life and he is still going strong and opposite the NFU building I used to have my company offices before we moved.

The event was a Euro Hustings hosted jointly by the NFU and the County Landowners Association (CLA) and over a cup of tea before it started I had a chance to catch up with the CLA regional CE Nicola Currie and a number of those key farmers and agricultural business owners whom I had met of over the course of the past year in my role as cabinet member with responsibility for the Suffolk County Council’s farm estate before I was purged from the cabinet.

I was pleased to hear her speak about her and her organisations commitment to the complete rethink of farm estate strategy I was able to develop with officers and my fellow Councillor James Finch. It was also encouraging to hear the enthusiasm from some of those there about our plans and just as with the new Care UK Care homes nearing completion I’ll be excited to see the new look estate emerge and develop over the coming years.

Suffolk County Council was is the business of a slightly reactive landlord and I hope what we’ve put in place in the past year will change this forever. So that Suffolk clearly articulates and acts as a proactive landlord, using its role at Suffolk third biggest landlord to be at the fore front of helping younger people into farming, helping lower the average age of farmers (a national concern), driving forward rural businesses to create real jobs in our rural county and building a collaborative environment on the farming expertise and businesses that exist in our county.

There was, when I stepped into the role, a real fear that some Councillors simply wanted to sell the farm estate either to the market or to the County Council Pension fund and until I got into what we could actually do to help develop our rural economy I was probably tipping that way, but with the plans now in place, from the backbenches, I shall fight tooth and nail to make sure the council keeps its land and plays it’s part in rural life.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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