A report in the Farmers Guardian says that while the pressure is on councils to sell off their farms to raise revenue, one local authority has outlined its commitment to bolster them.
UK farming has suffered under the regime of reduced Government subsidies and now the industry is to take a further hit in a round of local authority cost-cutting.
But Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for prosperity, Councillor Jamie Macrae, is confident local farming can survive and is calling on the shire authorities to think again.
He said: “We need to encourage farmers of the future. If we don’t, our rich and wonderful heritage of farming will disappear, which is why we have agreed that maintaining and encouraging farming here in Cheshire East will be one of the authority’s core objectives going forward.
“The council strongly supports national food security and investing in the future of farming.”
Cheshire East’s farming community is profitable. The estate generated a gross income of approximately £632,000 in 2010/2011 and is worth in the region of £32 million.
This week, Cheshire East Council agreed to take forward a favourable policy for its farming fraternity to retain its holdings and to continue to provide opportunities into the farming industry.
Cheshire East Council’s farms estate includes approximately 53 acres of woodland and lets a total of 72 farmhouses and buildings.