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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Milverton Parish Council Goes European!

Milverton Parish Council
Press Notice

22 October 2010

Milverton Parish Council Goes European!

Last week two representatives of Milverton Parish Council in Somerset braved strikes and demonstrations to travel to Poitiers in France to take part in the European Rural Sustainability Gathering 2010.

Intending to provide a 'glimpse to the future of rural Europe', 65 representatives from 13 countries worked together to gather ideas for better and more sustainable policies for farming and rural areas.

In tune with the Governments BIG Society ideas the workshop started from the view point that the ‘European project’ needs more genuine involvement and influence from citizens in decision making and also needs to allow them to take responsibility to carry out necessary reforms.

The workshop provided three elements
  • A marketplace of good practice and experiences from across Europe;
  • Visits to local projects to help draw up proposals for policy reforms.
  • Workshops to work out clear and powerful political messages to influence the ongoing process of Common Agricultural Policy Reform.
Councillor Trevor Phelps and Clerk Gwilym Wren attended for the Parish Council, drawing on their experiences of preparing a Parish Plan and the pressures on a village community in the 21st century, such as dwindling services, locally sourced food and fighting large scale, inappropriate housing developments.

Mr Phelps said “This was a fantastic event and I learnt a lot about how other communities across Europe are dealing with the pressures of modern life. We have returned with some wonderful ideas and insights which will hopefully benefit the people of Milverton and help us take more responsibility for our own future growth and development.”

Mr Phelps and Mr Wren will be providing a full report to the next Parish Council meeting on 1st November.

Notes for Editors

  1. Decreasing turnout in European elections and growing scepticism against European Institutions have shown that new connections need to be built. In the coming three years the European institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council) will prepare a new framework for virtually reform all its policies and their financing, including the Common Agriculture and Rural Development Policies. This is a window of opportunity for people to say what currently goes wrong and what could be done better in the future in order to move towards more sustainable farming and rural development and to make more people enthusiastic about this.
  2. The Workshop was organised by Forum Synergies ( and Celavar (
  3. Milverton Parish Council is committed to sustainable development and is actively seeking way to allow the community to grow without being swamped.
  4. The event was part sponsored by CELAVAR and Forum Synergies. Mr Phelps and Mr Wren covered the balance of their own costs.
  5. For further detail, interviews and comment please contact Gwilym Wren on 01823 400657., 07876 146110,

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