CALLS to protect Wirral’s farmland have grown after concerns were raised over the future of food supplies in the borough.

The calls have been made by Liberal Democrat councillors in an upcoming notice of motion to the local authority, with members requesting 'renewed importance' be attached to protecting agricultural land.

The motion to be discussed by full council next week says a number of factors, including hotter summers, colder winters and Wirral’s recent green belt controversy have prompted the concerns being raised.

It says land that is currently in agricultural use should not be removed from the green belt 'in view of the need to safeguard future food supplies.'

The Liberal Democrat notice, called ‘Keeping the Builders’ Hands off our Farmland’, says: “Council believes that the wide fluctuations in our weather, from the extreme cold of March 2018 through the recent hot dry summer, necessitate greater attention to national food security and supply.

“Council considers that these conditions and the recent developments in agricultural policy highlight the need to retain good agricultural land rather than bury it under extensive areas of new housing.”

It also calls for officers to consider the terms of the Agriculture Bill released this year, which sets out how farmers and land managers will be paid for 'public goods' like air and water quality, soil health, better animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding. Plans so far propose that farmers are supported into the system during a seven-year transition period.

The notice submitted by councillors Phil Gilchrist and Stuart Kelly and to be discussed at a full council meeting on Monday said that the 'uncertain future facing agriculture needs to be addressed.'

It concluded: “Accordingly, Council requests that officers and Cabinet should give these issues further attention as the need for adequate protection required for Wirral’s Green Belt and farmland becomes ever more pressing and apparent. These views should be submitted as part of the current consultation and drawn to the attention of Wirral’s MPs.”