The 2016 EFRA Parliamentary Select Committee rural tourism inquiry was unable to conclude due to the General Election. Faced with that prospect Neil Parish MP the chair of the original committee sent a letter in April to the Defra Minister responsible outlining the inquiry’s key findings and expressing a view that the new committee “may wish to take these issue forward in its work programme in the new Parliament”.
Because it was a letter and not a formal inquiry report Government are not obliged to respond and, as far as we are aware, have not yet done so. There are also potential technical and procedural issues involved in revisiting an inquiry after a change of Government, not least of which is that it is up to the new committee members to decide on its own programme of work.
Since the election Neil Parish has been reappointed by a ballot of MPs as the new EFRA Committee chairman, the committee members are yet to be selected. In order to help support Neil’s previously stated aspiration and encourage the new committee members to revisit the inquiry British Destinations have written to him in his capacity of chairman: Letter Chair EFRA Select Committee 8 Aug 17
Whilst it isn’t essential, it may now be extremely helpful if some other rural and tourism interests wrote over the coming weeks and months in a similar vein but preferably not in an identikit format. Letters expressing support for our letter, for the principle of revisiting and publishing the report, for a review of the inquiry’s findings, or in some other way taking forward the work started in the last Parliament are what is required; variations on the same or similar theme, not an overtly orchestrated campaign.
The aim would be to give the chairman and the committee staff sufficient weight of evidence in favour of the new committee revisiting the inquiry in some form. Letters of support from non-rural tourism areas (or the many mixed areas) might carry as much, if not more weight than letters from obviously rural destinations and specifically rural tourism organisations. If you can, please consider helping by writing yourselves or by getting other local, regional or national organisations to join in. Although it is an inquiry about English rural tourism, there is considerable relevance to UK rural tourism issues especially relating to post Brexit rural policy and supporting mechanisms.
The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the postal address is on our letter.