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Country News - 2004

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Yorkshire boost at Countryside Agency

Wednesday 15 September 2004

YORKSHIRE country folk have a new friend as chairman of the highly regarded Countryside Agency: the Rev Dr Stuart Burgess, until recently the leading Methodist priest on the York-Hull Circuit.

And although the agency itself it to be subsumed, along with English Nature and other bodies into a new Defra department, he has been given the title of Countryside Advocate.

This, hopefully, means he will continue to argue the case on country issues - and bring his Northern experience into play when dealing with Whitehall civil servants.

Dr Stuart has been asked by Defra Secretary Margaret Beckett to lead the restructuring of Government "socio-economic work" in rural areas and provide "strong and impartial advice" at times of great change.

He is a former president of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, which he helped to restructure in the 1990s, and is a great lover of the Yorkshire countryside.


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