22 APR 2010

Canvassing in Upper Dean, Rattery & South Brent

Farm shops do so much to promote local markets for local produce. I enjoyed meeting Stepano Moranzoni at Dean Court Farm Shop to hear how he sources all his beef, pork, lamb and chicken from local producers as well as opening new markets.

From Tony Coaker, I learnt how volunteering has helped with the rebuild of Rattery Village Hall and how they were at the leading edge in obtaining grants as a low carbon building to enable PV solar panels to be installed on the roof. They are now devastated to find that they will be penalised for commissioning just after the 15th July 09 deadline and will get nothing in return for the power that they feed into the national grid. It cannot be fair to give reduced or no reward to those who were the first to install these systems.

For me one of the most memorable conversations of the day was with Ray Hardy, publican at the Church House Inn, Rattery. ‘I don't have the words to express the state we are in'. Pubs are under siege and we risk losing this part of our heritage. Binge drinking is not the fault of pubs but of ultra cheap alcohol from supermarkets. I would like to see us stand up for our rural pubs and save them from extinction.

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