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Says Naomi Smith

Says Naomi SmithIt is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more

Penwith Moors, Cornwall

Ian McNeil Cooke, Co-ordinator Save Penwith Moors writes to Sir Graham Watson MEP, Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

The Liberty, Old Kelways, Langport TA10 9SJ


Says Ian McNeil Cooke

Says Ian McNeil CookeThank you for your email dated 19 February concerning local public consultation for future agri-environmental schemes, and I understand you will bring this to the attention of community officials.

We should also like to summarise a number of points for the awareness of EU officials.

We submit that all future agri-environmental agreements should include as mandatory – not voluntary − prescriptions where works are planned to be installed on land where the public have legal access (i.e for the UK: open access land under the CRoW Act 2000, Registered Common Land and where Scheduled Ancient Monuments may be affected) the following:

  1. Public consultation with local affected communities and user stakeholders.
  2. More regular monitoring of agreements with results made public
  3. Areas of popular recreation kept free of grazing and new stock proofing
  4. Agreement holders to be responsible for public footpath/bridleway maintenance on their land.
  5. Legal compliance must be compulsory with accountabilities built in to the agreements from Europe to the UK; from the UK to QUANGO's and from QUANGO's to local stewards. [We have encountered huge obstacles to accountability that effectively gift legal immunity to QUANGO's and others.]
  6. All agreements should be subject to independent auditing, including public audits, to assess taxpayer benefits. Public accessibility, before and after, must be the key measure of community benefit.
  7. Flexibility should be an integral part of any agreement because without that public participation cannot be facilitated. 8. Far more punitive forfeits for compliance failure should be a feature of every agreement.

It is our consideration that this would be in the best interests of the public who ultimately provide the finance through EU and UK taxation and would also conform to the mandatory pillars of the Aarhus Convention [UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters] ratified by the UK Government in February 2005.

Says Linda Wright

Says Linda WrightWe moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more

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