Due to new government structures, the East Midlands Rural Affairs Forum (EMRAF) ceased to exist as from the end of March 2011.
As from the beginning of April 2011, Julie Bowers, Regional Director of Rural Community Action East Midlands and Lynn Hage, Communications Officer for Rural Community Action East Midlands worked with stakeholders and various organisations to create a new rural network to be in line with current government priorities, meet new challenges and develop agendas. The new network, “Rural Network East Midlands”, is based around farming, food and rural affairs and has links with the Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs).
An Expression of Interest was submitted to Defra at the end of July to become a member of their new rural network. An executive committee, the Strategic Panel, is in the formation process, as is the development of a terms of reference, a management plan and the creation of task and finish groups. A communications strategy is also being put together which will include a revised website and newsletter to replace the EMRAF ones which are currently active. The stakeholder organisations who make up the strategic panel will give direction as to what the network might do and how it might work. The main focus will be on delivery, using task and finish groups to carry out particular pieces of work.
For further information during the transition period please contact Julie or Lynn on 01623 727600 or keep up to date by visiting www.ruralaffairs.org.uk