Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Rural Payments Agency will deliver outstanding countryside stewardship payments in full.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) took on responsibility for Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship in October 2018, and is simplifying the administration of the schemes as far as possible under the current EU system by streamlining processes, making changes to IT systems and boosting the workforce to speed up processing.

All eligible Countryside Stewardship 2016 and 2017 claims have received a payment apart from exceptional cases, for example, those that cannot be paid for legal reasons such as probate. Any claim that was not paid a 2018 advance payment by the end of March was issued a bridging payment in early April.

The RPA is on track to meet its commitment to complete 95% of 2018 final payments on claims by the end of July.

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