Eighteen group secretaries from across England and Wales travelled to London this week for a two-day induction in London organised by the NFU External Affairs team. The itinerary consisted of a presentation from the London team, a meet and greet with an MP, a group dinner, and concluded with a tour of the Houses of Parliament.
Olivia Seccombe, Head of External Affairs in the London office, talked to the group about the role of the External Affairs team and how this work can support the work undertaken by the group secretaries.
Kerri Scotting from the Huntingdon office said, “It was great to hear from Olivia yesterday and the work that the NFU are doing here in Westminster and how they interact with government on a daily basis, taking forward our farmers views right to the people that make a difference in Westminster. It’s really good to understand and it’s great that I can relay it all back to our members.”
Before dinner Matt Warman, MP for the Boston and Skegness constituency, gave a talk about how important it is that group secretaries, county advisers, the NFU, and farmers and growers all communicate with MP’s. He gave advice on how to approach MP’s and what is going to make them listen and take action.
Ronnie Neale from the Broughton in Furness office said, “I think the best thing for me was when we got the opportunity to speak to the MP, who gave us insight on how to interact with MP’s and get the best out of them in the local area, so that’s something I’ll take back and use going forward.”
The event was a great success and enabled the group secretaries to network and informally discuss their views on a variety of topics; from how they can best use social media, to how we can help members with issues such as broadband coverage.
A second London induction for group secretaries that have not yet visited Westminster will be held later this year.