Government Environment Secretary to meet Ribble Valley farmers

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david Cameron’s newly appointed Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has accepted an invitation from Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans to come and meet the area’s struggling farmers.

Mr Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, took over from Caroline Spelman at DEFRA, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in last week’s government reshuffle.

“When I asked Owen to visit the Ribble Valley and talk to some of my constituents about their concerns he agreed immediately,” said Mr Evans, who is Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons,

“There has been a lot going on recently at Owen’s new department and most recently we have seen issues surrounding dairy farming and the supermarket pricing wars.

“He is keen to get fully up to speed with the issues facing the agricultural industry and I am heartened that he wants the views of farmers to inform the direction he goes in.

“I hope that we can arrange for him to come to the Ribble Valley as soon as possible because these are issues that are incredibly pressing for the families and businesses in our area.”

Mr Paterson, who is seen as a right-winger in the Coalition, is a keen horse rider, in favour of hunting, and has voiced opposition to wind farms.