MP launches petition to garner support for DEFRA move to Melton
Melton’s MP is appealing to residents to help persuade the government to set up a Department for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) office in the town.
Alicia Kearns is today (Tuesday) launching a petition to garner public support for the project, with Melton on a shortlist of three potential locations.
She cites the area’s reputation as the Rural Capital of Food and Drink and it’s agricultural traditions with an historic livestock market as key reasons for DEFRA to have a base in the town.
We reported in July that Mrs Kearns had highlighted in a House of Commons debate that thousands of DEFRA officials could be housed in offices at Pera Business Park and Melton Borough Council’s Parkside HQ if the government backs her campaign to relocate the key department from London.
She is calling on local people to sign her petition, commenting: “Melton is not only the Rural Capital of Food and Drink, but also the rural heart of our great nation.
“It would be the perfect place for rural policy to be made, and benefit the whole UK.
“I’ve received so much support for my campaign since it started, but now I need your help to show the government the extent of local support to bring DEFRA to Melton.”
The project is part of the government’s plan to establish new civil service offices around the country, to enable policy to be made closer to those who their decisions most affect.
Mrs Kearns has secured the support of a number of key organisations in and around Melton, including the borough council and some of the biggest employers in the town.
Visit www.aliciakearns.com/campaigns/bring-defra-office-melton to see the petition and to sign it.