Industry lines up talks with Benn

Representatives of the horticulture industry are to meet DEFRA secretary of state Hilary Benn for the first time since he replaced David Milliband at the department.

All-Party Parliamentary Gardening & Horticulture Group secretary Brian Donohoe MP, who arranged the meeting — to be held on 21 November — said: “We are now having these meetings every six months, where industry representatives get an opportunity to air their views to the minister. “They will say which problems they are facing with the Government, and the Government will have the opportunity to tell the industry where things are improving and about areas of concern.” A pre-meeting on 7 November will decide the agenda but Donohoe believes greening the 2012 Olympics will be high up. He added: “The Olympics is going to be very, very important for the industry as a showcase. It is important the industry gets it right and I’m sure it will, but we have to continue discussions with Government ministers.” Another important issue on the agenda is set to be greening the UK and the impact of planning on green spaces in urban areas.

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