Rural Development Programme
Environment Food and Rural Affairs
James Paice (Shadow Minister (Agriculture & Rural Affairs), Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; South East Cambridgeshire, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the advice and guidance given by his Department to regional development agencies on axes 1 and 3 of the Rural Development Programme.
Jonathan R Shaw (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Chatham and Aylesford, Labour)
Regional plans for the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 have been developed by the regional development agencies (RDAs), Natural England and the Forestry Commission, in consultation with stakeholders and partners. In devising their plans, regions were asked to reflect the national priorities for the programme, on which we consulted early last year.
The regional plans informed the content of the draft programme document which has been submitted to the EU Commission for approval. This document sets out priorities for action, details of which rural development regulation measures we plan to use, as well as how we plan to use them. It therefore sets out the broad framework of guidance within which RDAs will have devolved responsibility to deliver axes 1 and 3 in line with the regional plans. The draft programme document is available on our website.
The programme document might, in due course, have to be supplemented by further guidance to aid consistent interpretation of the EU rules.