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County Land and Business Association's south east regional director Michael Valenzia launches Rural Powerhouse initiative

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is launching its General Election campaign by calling on politicians from all parties to back its Rural Powerhouse initiative.

The CLA is writing to every candidate in every constituency in England and Wales asking them to pledge support for the Rural Powerhouse.

CLA want prospective MPs to back its campaign during the election
CLA want prospective MPs to back its campaign during the election

It is comprised of five key themes: A fully connected countryside; a planning system designed for rural communities; profitable and sustainable farming; investment in skills and innovation; and a simpler tax regime.

CLA South East represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Kent.

Regional director Michael Valenzia said: “The rural economy has immense potential for economic growth and job creation, but we need the right policies to unleash it.

"It is 16% less productive than its urban counterpart, but realising this untapped potential could grow the rural economy by billions of pounds.”

The campaign is being launched during the General Election and before the CLA’s annual Rural Business Conference on November 28.

Michael Valenzia, south east CLA regional director
Michael Valenzia, south east CLA regional director

Mr Valenzia added: “The Rural Powerhouse is not just a campaign to last for a few weeks. It is a new approach for the Country Land and Business Association.

"At a time when political tensions are high, we are standing up proudly to say that we believe in the potential of the rural economy, and we are here to champion it.

"The Rural Powerhouse campaign is rooted in the belief that the countryside has an exciting future and we all have a role in shaping it. Any future MP worth their salt should proudly back the campaign.”

Political candidates who support the campaign will receive regular briefings and campaign materials throughout the election period, and beyond.

"We want to build productive relationships with MPs from all parties." - Michael Valenzia, CLA

Mr Valenzia added: “We want to build productive relationships with MPs from all parties. When supporters of the Rural Powerhouse enter parliament in December, we will be there to help them do their jobs – whether that’s working closely with them so that they understand the needs of rural communities, or ensuring they are ready to champion our policy campaigns in the heart of Westminster."

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