On Monday 19th July DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow MP confirmed that the Government has instructed civil servants to consider Melton Mowbray as a potential location for a DEFRA office following Melton MP Alicia Kearns’ campaign.
The decision was announced during a half hour Adjournment Debate on the floor of the House of Commons which Melton’s MP had secured specifically for her campaign for DEFRA to open an office in Melton Mowbray.
Responding to the news, Alicia Kearns MP said:
“I’m delighted by the news that the Government has instructed civil servants to actively investigate whether a DEFRA office can be opened in Melton Mowbray.
“I will continue to make the case for our wonderful town, and to create opportunity for us and give our town every chance to succeed. A DEFRA office in Melton is right for our communities, right for our farmers, right for our food and drink producers and, right for our country.”
During the speech DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow said:
“I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Alicia Kearns) on securing this debate, making such an impressive case for her constituency, and indeed speaking up for her constituents. She is such a champion and a great voice in this place.
“I know that my hon. Friend has already raised this with the Secretary of State, so she is leaving no stone, or pork pie, unturned. I have asked my officials to include Melton Mowbray as a potential location for a new DEFRA office. It will be considered with all other options, and will be subject to the usual disciplines, such as securing value for money, and all the criteria that will have to fit the DEFRA operating model.”
Over the past few weeks Alicia Kearns MP has met with the Secretary of State for DEFRA George Eustice, Chancellor of the Duchy Michael Gove, and Lord Agnew at the Cabinet Office to make the case for why no other rural location can rival Melton’s offer.
During her speech Alicia Kearns invited the Minister and the Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle MP to visit Melton Mowbray and see why she believes DEFRA needs Melton, as much as
Melton needs DEFRA. The Speaker of the House stated that “the case has been very well put.”