The East of England Rural Forum (EERF)


Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study Consultation

The Government's first Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study which is now roughly half way through - is gathering and assessing up-to-date evidence to enable Government to decide whether or not to support tidal power development in the Severn Estuary. Ten potential development options have been considered so far (including barrages, lagoons, a tidal reef and tidal fence) and the Government is now seeking initial views on: by 23rd April 2009

  • a recommended shortlist of schemes for more detailed analysis this year;
  • the scope of the Strategic Environmental Assessment that is being carried out within the feasibility study;
  • the issues the feasibility study is considering and how these are being approached.

The Forum have expressed concern over these proposals and have sent a letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in March 2009

In December Roger Turkington from Suffolk ACRE wrote to Suffolk MPs regarding rural housing.

Copies of the letters and responses received from the MPs are here.

Request to contribute to Defra's rural research programme

Defra will be considering how the 2008/09 research projects, which cover subjects in education, health, housing and social capital, will feed into next year’s. They are also considering what additional areas they should cover, perhaps related to the current economic situation, or to important policy developments from elsewhere in Government that they feel may warrant a particular rural look.

Defra asked the Rural Forums to respond with any particular areas that they should consider including in the 09-10 rural research programme, including any areas of research that the Forum members are involved in that we might usefully contribute to.

The East of England Rural Forum responded to Defra at the beginning of February 2009. The response highlighted the following as key areas that would benefit from further research:

  • Integrated Agricultural research
  • Food sustainability
  • Employment and Access to Education
  • Local/Green Energy
  • Economic strengths and requirements Rural Businesses
  • Current financial crisis
  • Transport
  • Affordable rural housing
  • Social care
  • Visual Landscape Character Assessments

Consultation on Rural Implementation Plan

RDPE East of England - Frequently Asked Questions

Consultation on Regional Implementation Plan

The deadline for submission of responses to the regional consultation has now passed. The responses are being taken into account in development of the Regional Implementation Plan.

A summary of the delegate feedback forms from the RIP events has now been produced, it can be viewed here. RIP Report Evaluation

New Defra Rural Funding

From January 2007, a new 6-year funding programme will be introduced to support Defra's objectives for the development of farming, rural businesses, communities and the countryside.

Consultation on Regional Priorities and Delivery

Defra asked EEDA, Natural England and the Forestry Commission to develop a Regional Implementation Plan for the new national Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). GO-East is coordinating consultations, hosted by the Forum, to achieve integrated and customer focused delivery of funding support, and to ensure a good match with regional and sub-regional priorities.

Consultation on Rural Development Programme for England

At the end of February, Defra launched the formal consultation on the principles and priorities to be included in the new Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013. Plans will be finalised in June.

The national consultation sought regional views on national proposals, including programme implementation and national programme priorities. In this region we want individuals and organisations to respond direct to the Defra national consultation.

The East of England Rural Forum hosted the regional consultation on the national Programme as part of its quarterly meeting on 22 March.

The facilitated workshop and discussion was attended by Forum Members, together with invited stakeholders and delivery agencies to ensure a reasonable balance of representatives under each of the three themes: environment; agriculture and forestry; and rural opportunity. The workshop was designed to enable representatives to consider the document as a whole, from principles through to delivery arrangements and the proposed priorities. There was also opportunity for the Defra representatives in attendance to clarify a number of points during presentations and a question and answer session.

A report has been produced from the event, which comprises the regional response to the consultation. The report presents a range of views on the priorities and some key messages on the overall strategy, and is not intended to substitute the views that individuals and organisations make in their own responses to Defra.