Bury St Edmunds truly is the jewel in the crown of Suffolk and returning from Westminster, I am reminded of just how peaceful and restorative country living is. I too was born and raised in the country and feel that it is important we protect the traditions and uniqueness of country life. That is why I regularly visit our excellent rural centres committed to protected our countryside traditions and bringing people closer to nature.
It is vital, as your Member of Parliament, that I protect the rural interests of Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk. This means working closely with a farmers and other agricultural industries, including pioneering agri-technology companies across the region.
A particularly pertinent issue for farmers, particularly those in my constituency, is the issue of basic payments. Following the breakdown of the Basic Payment Scheme online system in 2015, I raised this issue with the Department. The Basic Payment Scheme failed to deliver a straightforward, manageable and supportive system to farmers. Ahead of the launch of the new Basic Payment Scheme in June 2016, I met with a group of Suffolk farmers to discuss issues affecting the industry around the scheme and what they want to see it deliver.
I have written to and raised the failings of the Basic Payment Scheme with the Secretary of State and continue to monitor the progress of the new system as it enters the registration period for users.