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Agricultural Tenancies: Annual Report

Part of Orders of the Day — Agricultural Tenancies Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 19th April 1995.

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Photo of Martyn Jones Martyn Jones , Clwyd South West 4:29 pm, 19th April 1995

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The prime reason for the Bill, as stated by the industry, the Government and the Opposition, is to get more people into farming. We wish to give an incentive and impetus to new, younger farmers. We, the Opposition, believe that the Bill will not deliver the goods. It will do nothing to ease the life of the small tenant farmer. The Bill is clearly a licence for large farmers to become larger.

We need an independent annual report that shows clearly where the Bill is working, where it is failing and where it needs improving. Such a report needs to include records of people who never had a tenancy before, and of people who had a former tenancy. The report should make it clear what type of tenancy was held previously. We should also know through the report what new land has been tenanted out, the number and size of lettings to corporate tenants, and the length of term of new farm business tenancies.

The annual tenanted farm survey of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, although excellent in its own way, provides little of the information we seek. As two other organisations will be able to draw up tenancies, it is clearly the responsibility of Government to monitor what is happening.