Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gloucestershire farmer is new CLA Deputy President

Gloucestershire landowner Henry Robinson has been elected Deputy President of the 35,000-strong Country Land and Business Association.

Mr Robinson, the Association’s former Vice-President, was elected Deputy to the CLA’s new president, Harry Cotterell, at the Association’s annual meeting in London last week.

Mr Cotterell owns and manages a 1,600-acre traditional family estate in Herefordshire. The mainly arable farming operation is all “in hand” growing wheat and oilseed rape but recently planted cider orchards produce up to 10,000 tonnes of apples a year. There is also a commercial forestry operation covering 700 acres and the farm provides one million chickens per year and 25,000lbs of mushrooms a week for a supermarket chain.

Mr Cotterell, who has been CLA Deputy President since 2009, will serve as President for two years. He said: “I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the Association and am looking forward to the challenges ahead such as CAP reform, planning reform and the Water White Paper. “

Mr Robinson says, he is committed to rural life in Gloucestershire where he has farmed since 1978. He has been chair of the county’s Rural Issues Task Force, a member of Gloucestershire First and the Rural Economic Advisory Panel; a Parish Councillor and school Governor and he remains a Deputy-Lieutenant for the County. He says he farms, manages, and generally enjoys the land, cottages, workshops and woodlands that make up the family farm near Cirencester.

He has been Chairman of the CLA’s Gloucestershire Branch, represented the South West on the CLA Council, and chaired the national Business and Rural Economy and the Environment Sub-Committees.

Mr Robinson said it was a great privilege to be asked to serve an organisation which campaigned so actively for the rural economy and which was the only organisation speaking up for property rights and land ownership.

“The challenges facing the countryside are many and various - but one of the very greatest will be the question of how to protect and enhance the landscape and environment while still producing food for a world with seven billion people in it.

“Closer to home, we are very engaged with the debate on the National Planning Policy Framework and how planning needs to change in order to encourage rural business and allow it to flourish. The CLA has been – and will continue - to campaign for high speed Broadband for all rural areas and appropriate renewable energy on farms.”
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