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The Future of Our Land - Top Stories this Week

Two different stories concerning the Government’s power over land, communities and the growing industry have emerged over the past week. Due to recent developments involving the government and local councils, we wanted to explore what kind of different influences people of power actually have over areas of land around the UK.

London Boroughs Discuss Government Devolution

Our first piece of news comes from Horticulture Week online and it refers to the discussions that London Councils have been having over devolution. On Friday 13th February, representatives of 9 London councils joined to talk about devolving powers from central government, in a meeting called ‘The Local London: Driving Growth through Devolution’.

Elected members and senior officers from areas such as Enfield, Greenwich, Barking, Hackney and Havering, attended the conference to show commitment to the shared vision and ambitions of the boroughs across key policy areas.

The Newham Gov website reported that the councils are committed to releasing the true potential of their areas and were looking forward to getting their voices heard at the conference on Friday.

The councils feel strongly that they should all work together to help maximise the potential for jobs, growth and investment in London. According to the article, the conference is the first step in the process of identifying the powers needed to make a difference in the communities. There is now a real opportunity to build a case and go forward to government and challenge them to help get them a better deal.

It is felt that devolution will eliminate the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that the government is said to be using and failing Londoners with. Passing more responsibility to the councils will enable boroughs to make a difference and customise services to local needs.

New Food Enterprise Zones are launched by the Government

A different article in Horticulture Week online has described the good work of the Government in providing new Food Enterprise Zones for Growers in the UK. The new zones and simpler planning process will make it easier for food and farming business to expand and attract new business.

The new zones will also allow more local decision making on planning and development issues concerning food and farming businesses. According to Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, the whole scheme will be integral to boosting local economies and attracting more investment.

Another benefit of the Food Enterprise Zones (FEZs) is that growers will be able to get more top quality produce and be able to expand the food industry even further. This is essential to securing Britain’s economic future.

The 11 proposed Food Enterprise Zones are in Somerset, the South Downs, Cumbria, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Cornwall, West Sussex and Cheshire. There will also be grants of up to £50,000 available to set up Food Enterprise Zones. The people in a FEZ will have the chance to make decisions on what kinds of businesses will be in their FEZ and where it should be located.

They will also be able to help develop areas that their region already excels in.

What’s your take?

So what part does the Government play exactly in the development of our land and local communities?

Should they hold the most power, considering the good work they are doing with the establishment of Food Enterprise Zones? Or should they allow local councils to make more decisions regarding their specific community issues? Let us know your opinions in the comment box below!

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