Appointment of new RPA Chief Executive Presents Opportunity for Cumbrian Farming says James Airey

Leader of Cumbria Conservatives, James Airey, yesterday (Monday 17 July) welcomed the confirmation of Paul Caldwell as the new permanent Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency.

Councillor Airey said: “The encouragement of our great Cumbrian food and farming industries is vital. It does not just have a significant positive impact on the local economy and, therefore, for local people, but is important for the whole country.”

The Rural Payments Agency manages over 40 schemes to help ensure the UK has a healthy rural economy and strong rural communities, including administering payments as part of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

“Whilst I am a local farmer, I don’t directly rely on the farming subsidies which are managed by the RPA. However, many of my friends of colleagues do and I know some of the serious difficulties they have had with the RPA over recent years. Since being appointed as Acting Chief Executive earlier in the year, Paul has clearly made a significant difference, making 99% of payments by the end of June 2017.”

“Paul knows Cumbria well and his confirmation as Chief Executive of this Government Agency provides a great opportunity to continue the momentum and ensure we best prepare the industry for both the opportunities and challenges once we leave the European Union.”

Paul Caldwell, Chief Executive of the RPA, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency after being given the opportunity to lead the Agency at the start of 2017.”

“Our work is vital to supporting our world-leading food and farming industry at such a crucial time.”

“My commitment to improving our service to farmers remains stronger than ever. I look forward to leading the Agency, providing stability and support to this vital sector as we prepare to leave the EU.”

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