Town & Coun­try

Which party should get the coun­try­side’s vote on June 8? Holly Kirk­wood com­pares man­i­festos

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Con­ser­va­tives Life in the coun­try

● High-speed broad­band for ev­ery home and busi­ness by 2020 ● Post-brexit, the same cash to­tal in funds for farm sup­port is promised un­til the end of the Par­lia­ment, with a new agri-en­vi­ron­ment sys­tem to fol­low ● Safe­guard the post-of­fice net­work and sup­port phar­ma­cies and vil­lage schools ● £2.5 bil­lion flood-de­fence pro­gramme ● Pub­lic forests and wood­land to be kept in trust for the na­tion ● Nat­u­ral Eng­land will ex­pand pro­vi­sion of tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise to farm­ers ● Con­serve our marine en­vi­ron­ment ● A com­pre­hen­sive 25-year En­vi­ron­ment Plan ● Ex­tend the Coastal Com­mu­ni­ties Fund for sea­side towns to 2022

An­i­mals and wildlife ● A free vote on the fu­ture of the Hunt­ing Act 2004 ● Re­forms on pet sales and li­cens­ing ● Make CCTV record­ing in slaugh­ter­houses manda­tory ● Con­trol the ex­port of live farm an­i­mals for slaugh­ter post-brexit

Trans­port ● £40 bil­lion into im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing HS2, North­ern Pow­er­house Rail and the ex­pan­sion of Heathrow ● De­velop the road net­work and cre­ate ex­tra ca­pac­ity on the rail­ways ● Sup­port ex­pan­sion of cy­cle net­works ● Im­prove road sur­faces in res­i­den­tial ar­eas

En­ergy and re­new­ables ● In­de­pen­dent re­view into UK en­ergy costs ● No more large-scale on­shore wind farms in Eng­land ● Off­shore wind will still be de­vel­oped ● De­velop the shale in­dus­try

Hous­ing and plan­ning ● De­liver one mil­lion homes by the end of 2020 and 500,000 more by the end of 2022 ● One mil­lion more trees to be planted in towns and cities

Small busi­nesses ● Im­prove the gen­eral busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for SMES and en­sure that big con­trac­tors com­ply with the Prompt Pay­ment Code ● Busi­ness-rate relief and low tax­a­tion for small busi­nesses will con­tinue and bu­reau­cracy and reg­u­la­tion will be cut


Life in the coun­try ● Uni­ver­sal su­per­fast broad­band by 2022 ● Re­think ru­ral fund­ing-al­lo­ca­tion mech­a­nisms and pro­tect post of­fices, high-street banks, sports clubs, pubs and in­de­pen­dent shops ● De­velop coastal pro­tec­tion and bet­ter flood man­age­ment ● Plant a mil­lion na­tive trees ● Keep forests in pub­lic own­er­ship ● Al­low EU work­ers em­ployed across farm­ing, fish­ing and food man­u­fac­tur­ing to re­main in the UK ● Re­in­state the Sea­sonal Agri­cul­tural Work­ers Scheme, as well as the Agri­cul­tural Wages Board ● Ex­pand the cur­rent role of the Gro­ceries Code Ad­ju­di­ca­tor ● Set up a na­tional re­view of lo­cal pubs

An­i­mals and wildlife ● End badger cull ● Safe­guard habi­tats and species in ‘blue belts’ ● Pro­hibit neon­i­coti­noids as soon as is al­lowed, to pro­tect bees ● Pro­mote cru­elty-free and bet­ter-en­forced animal hus­bandry ● Third-party sale of pup­pies will be pro­hib­ited

Trans­port ● Bring pri­vate rail com­pa­nies back into pub­lic own­er­ship ● Com­plete HS2 into Leeds and Manch­ester, then into Scot­land ● New Brighton Main Line; com­plete the Sci­ence Vale trans­port arc from Ox­ford to Cam­bridge ● Lo­cal bus com­pa­nies will be pub­licly run ● The need for ex­tra air­port ca­pac­ity in the South-east is recog­nised

En­ergy and re­new­ables ● Tran­si­tion to a pub­licly owned, de­cen­tralised en­ergy sys­tem ● Im­me­di­ate en­ergy price cap: the av­er­age dual-fuel house­hold en­ergy bill will re­main be­low £1,000 per annum ● In­su­late four mil­lion homes ● Ban frack­ing ● Build up re­new­able-en­ergy projects and sup­port nu­clear en­ergy

Hous­ing and plan­ning ● Build more than a mil­lion new homes, giv­ing coun­cils new pow­ers; pri­ori­tise brown­field sites and pro­tect the green belt ● Start work on a new gen­er­a­tion of New Towns

Small busi­nesses ● Lower small prof­its rate of Cor­po­ra­tion Tax for small busi­nesses ● Small busi­nesses ex­cluded from plans for quar­terly re­port­ing ● Take ac­tion on late pay­ments and pri­ori­tise lend­ing to small busi­nesses

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