Don’t miss deadline, farmers urged

Cabinet secretary for rural economy, Fergus Ewing
Cabinet secretary for rural economy, Fergus Ewing

Farmers and crofters are urged not to leave it until the last minute to apply for their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing is reminding farmers the deadline for application is midnight on Wednesday, June 15 for both their Single Application Form to get CAP payments and Beef Efficiency Scheme claims.

The cabinet secretary said: “We are well on track to get all applications in on time for the 2016 SAF and BES. We know the last seven days of the SAF window are traditionally the busiest – with almost 6,500 of last year’s SAFs submitted in the final week before the deadline.

“Although we are way ahead of that tally this year, farmers and crofters should not leave it until the last minute to get their forms in.

“Resolving the payment problems many have experienced with the CAP remains my first and foremost priority. I am well aware that the resolution of the CAP payments will not be achieved overnight, but I do not want to see a repeat of the problems we have faced over this past year, and it is one of my main objectives to see that the 2016 paympayments are on a proper footing.”

Scotland’s Chief Agricultural Officer David Barnes added:“With just one week to go until both the SAF and BES deadlines, farmers and crofters should ensure they get their applications in as soon as they can. The system is still new so filling in the SAF may take longer than it has done in previous years. BES applications are made separately on the ScotEID website. With all of the correct information to hand, it takes about 15 minutes to complete your BES claim.

“Ensuring the Rural Payments and Services website continues to perform, and helping customers get in their SAFs and BES applications are the focus for my team this week. If you do need any help with either application, or encounter any issues, then support is available from local area offices.”

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Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes