Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2004-05
10 February 2005 Written evidence on the Government's draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill

10 February 2005 Written evidence on the Government's draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has decided to undertake a brief inquiry into the Government's draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, which was published today. This inquiry will be carried out by a sub-committee under the chairmanship of Paddy Tipping MP.  The text of the draft Bill is available at www.defra.gov.uk/rural/ruraldelivery/bill

The bill is needed to implement the proposals contained in the Government's Rural Strategy 2004. Defra has announced that the bill is intended to "strengthen the protection of England's natural resources and streamline support for rural areas." The Committee's inquiry will focus on the provisions contained in the draft Bill, and will not cover the "possible other provisions" outlined in Part Three of the policy statement which accompanies the Bill. The Committee's principal interest is in the way that the draft Bill would implement the Government's Rural Strategy, following on from its earlier inquiry into the Strategy itself..

Interested parties are invited to submit written evidence which addresses the provisions of the draft Bill. The deadline for the submission of evidence is Thursday 24 February 2005. Due to time restrictions, submissions received after this date are unlikely to be considered by the Committee.  Please read closely the guidelines about the format of submissions, set out below.

The Committee expects to take oral evidence on the draft Bill during early March.

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Evidence should be submitted in Word or WordPerfect formats, and should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words long. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include an executive summary  not more than  one page long. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so.

For further information about the Committee's inquiry, please contact Matthew Hamlyn, Clerk of  the Committee, on 020 7219 3263.