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|Press Release: 3rd June 2009|
CPRE's chief executive gives his vision to Hampshire members
The Hampshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England held its annual general meeting in Shawford Parish Hall on Wednesday, 20th May.
Sir Brian Brown, president of CPRE Hampshire, said that there continue to be huge threats to the countryside and that the charity needs to find more members to get involved in groups and campaigns and to give more 'political clout'. Hampshire has the largest population of a county in England, yet only 0.01% of the population are currently members of CPRE Hampshire. A new membership drive and fundraising initiative will begin in 2009.
John Venning, chairman, introduced 'Campaigning à la carte' as there are so many different campaigns and activities that people could help with, from planning policy, local development frameworks (formerly Local Plans), renewable energy, Stop the Drop! litter picks and many more. Mr Venning thanked Hampshire County Council for its continuing support.
Edward Dawson, director of CPRE South East, updated the meeting on the South East Plan, set to complete 32,700 homes between 2006 and 2026. CPRE has found that on average, 32,800 is the rate of building in the last five years, so CPRE is urging a 'Plan, Monitor and Manage' approach to make sure that less homes are built in the coming years, and not more than we need at the expense of the countryside.
The keynote speech was given by CPRE's national chief executive, Shaun Spiers, who presented the charity's new 2026 Vision for the Countryside. In essence, he explained that it incorporates protection of the countryside, as well as improvement and regeneration of towns and cities. There should be an inter-relationship between towns and the countryside, with community access and farmers valued for the food they produce. Children should be allowed to explore, climb trees, get dirty just as they have always done. Shaun Spiers said:
"We envisage a countryside that is more beautiful, more varied and more tranquil than it is now. And this can really happen, if we take the right decisions now!"
- Ends -
CPRE/H/166Notes to editors
CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.
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