Coalition MPs condemn abolition of Rural Advocate

Posted on: 10th July 2011

From The Independent July 10th 2011.

“The issue is expected to become a flashpoint of dissent among Tory and Lib Dem MPs still reeling from Defra’s abortive plan to sell-off forests, which allowed Labour to position itself as the party of the countryside.

Andrew George, the chairman of the Lib Dem environment policy committee, said he hoped to persuade the Government to perform a U-turn. “It is particularly important to protect rural communities and ensure they don’t just become an exclusive reserve of the better off.

“The big risk is that the small and weak voices tend to get ignored. They have the added problem of trying to persuade the powers-that-be that the superficial image of the countryside as a rather well-heeled place of rural tranquillity is not true.

“You have to punch your way through the chocolate-box image. It is that important role that I think will simply get lost if the Rural Advocate is removed.”

Read the full article here