The Courtyard is a great resource says Anthea McIntyre

Last week’s meeting of the Hereford Conservative Business Forum (HCBF) heard from Melanie Denning and Lucy Wells, the Business Development Managers from The Courtyard, Hereford.

The 30 members present learnt that The Courtyard can provide a dramatic and memorable venue for conferences, events, meetings, presentations, training, corporate entertaining and more in addition to its more well-known role as Herefordshire’s centre for the Arts.

Ross-on-Wye’s MEP and Chairman of the HCBF, Anthea McIntyre said, “We are fortunate to have such a superb resource in Hereford and it offers local businesses an amazing venue for product launches, conferences and all manner of innovative opportunities to promote themselves,” after the presentation.

MEP Anthea McIntyre, who is also Chairman of the Herefordshire Conservative Business Forum, hosted another successful breakfast meeting this week.

The guest speaker was Adrian Blackshaw, candidate for the West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner elections which will be held on 15th November.

“Many people mistakenly believe that crime is an urban problem,” said Mr Blackshaw.

“In fact, the NFU’s 2012 Rural Crime Survey shows a year-on-year growth of 6 percent .”

Thefts of tractors has fallen but there has been an increase in the theft of oil/diesel, metal, chemicals, machinery, vehicles and livestock.  The value of these thefts is estimated at £52 million per annum.

“If elected as PCC, one of my priorities will be to focus on rural crime and to work with local communities and organisations to help reverse the growth in rural crime.  Local knowledge is invaluable and I urge farmers, landowners and the whole rural community to engage with the police on a partnership basis to tackle this problem ,”  Mr Blackshaw concluded.

Miss McIntyre commented:

“Too often the problems that face rural communities are seen as minor when compared to the problems of large, urban, areas.  The fact is that the theft of a piece of farm equipment can lead to the farmer missing the opportunity to plant or harvest a crop and so the loss is far greater than just the cost of replacing the piece of equipment.

“My work on the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering has demonstrated that the thefts are often arranged by international gangs and that a vehicle stolen overnight can be on a ferry by breakfast-time.

“It is vital that we tackle the issue of rural crime locally, nationally and at a European level.”

MEP, Anthea McIntyre, welcomed colleagues from Westminster, including Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton, to Brussels where they gave their support to dairy farmers demanding a fair price for milk.

“It is unsustainable for farmers are paid 4p or 5p per litre less than the cost of production.” Said Miss McIntyre.

“The recent agreement between producers, milk processors and retailers stopped a further planned cut in the price paid to many farmers but there is still a long way to go to achieve a fair milk price .

“Farming is the life-blood of this area and I am proud to stand-up for the British agricultural industry and to work with dairy farmers in their fight for a fair price."

MEP, Anthea McIntyre, was pleased to be able to take part in the Conservative Party’s social action project at Conference this year, despite having broken a bone in her foot earlier in the week.

She went to the ‘Social Action Zone’ within the conference venue, and packed a box to be sent to a soldier serving in Afghanistan, in partnership with the charity Support our Soldiers.

Miss McIntyre joined a number of Ministers, Members of Parliament, Party Staff, journalists and representatives who also packed a box, with an accompanying note thanking the soldiers for their service and wishing them well.  The parcels will be sent out in time for January, bringing ‘a little cheer for the New Year.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands Region, said, “I was delighted to be able to take part in this year’s Social Action project at the Conservative Party Conference.  Support our Soldiers has delivered over 100,000 parcels to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. It is an admirable organisation and it’s great to have the chance to send a parcel and a note thanking the troops who do so much to keep us safe.“

Further information:

Support Our Soldiers:

Support Our Soldiers is a national charity, which has been creating care parcels for serving soldiers since 2003.  It was set up by two mums whose sons were about to deploy to the Gulf.  It became a registered charity in 2007 and is now a major force in the Military support network.

Conservative commitment to Social Action: To underline our commitment to Social Action we have undertaken a different project at every Party Conference since 2006.

We make it clear that we are there to inject financial and voluntary action into the organisation as a one-off, and that we dedicate our team and resources to a different scheme at each Conference.

We are delighted that each project that we have supported has continued to prosper, including our first Social Action scheme in Bournemouth, which has even been awarded a £200,000 lottery grant for further development.

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, has welcomed Britain’s decision to opt-out of 130 European law and order regulations from 2014 but warned that the story doesn’t end there.

Speaking to a supper organised by local Conservatives on Friday, 19th October, Miss McIntyre explained:

“When Labour signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, they agreed that Britain would opt into the entire Justice and Home Affairs area of the EU or into nothing at all.  The UK is no longer be able to choose to adopt EU laws in these areas on a one-by-one basis.

“The effect is that Labour has left another mess for us to sort out.

“Had we agreed to continue along the path set by the previous Labour Government we would have to adopt a common European asylum and immigration area, and sign up to the future possibility of a common criminal justice system, and a European Public Prosecutor which would be controlled by the European Court of Justice.

“Accepting the authority of the European Courts would be incompatible with the UK's Common Law system and legal traditions which have been developed over hundreds of years. We simply do not have a legal system which is based on the Napoleonic and Romanic codes, like the rest of Europe.

“So it is right that we opt-out but it is in Britain’s interests to co-operate with our partners in Europe on many issues.  Our task, and it won’t be easy, is to work to create arrangements that allow us to share intelligence and other resources with other EU nations where it is beneficial but avoid allowing our traditions and domestic laws being  trampled.

“This is another example of Labour failing the British people and failing to appreciate the consequences of their actions.”