In a letter to local papers she said:

"Congratulations to Kathryn Moore, Professor of Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University, Mayor Andy Street and Dame Caroline Spelman MP for looking to create Britain's 16th national park here in the West Midlands.

"What a perfect antidote that would be to the popular misconception of our conurbation as a grim, grimy and crowded place that is in the Premiership for manufacturing and commerce, but non-league for beauty and fresh air.

"In fact - as we all know - our region has some of the most beautiful urban and rural landscapes anywhere and they deserve to be recognised and appreciated more widely.

"This is an opportunity to rethink the parameters of what a national park has to be. It does not need to be a Lake District or Snowdonia
- endless acres of wild countryside. Instead it can be a patchwork of greenery and parkland adjoining and incorporating more built-up areas
- more accessible but equally good on the eye and suitable for outdoor enjoyment.

"Let us press ahead with this plan - not just because it is good for our economy, jobs and tourism - but because it will bring a much overdue correction to our public image."


Campaigning MEP Anthea McIntyre has condemned Iran's killing of prisoner Mohammad Salas, executed in defiance of an 11th hour plea made by international parliamentarians.
 
She said: "The killing of Mr Salas marks a black day for justice, international rule of law and human rights."
 
The authorities in Tehran ordered the widely-condemned death sentence on Mr Salas to be carried out, just as a multi-party and cross-national group of MEPs was making a last-ditch plea for a stay of execution.
 
The Iranian authorities have spurned all previous appeals for the withdrawal of the death sentence and a retrial for Mr Salas.
 
Supporters say Mr Salas, a Gonabi Dervish, was wrongly convicted of the murder of three police officers when the case against him remained incomplete and unsubstantiated. Eyewitness and photographic evidence establishing his innocence was ignored by the court, while an alleged confession was extracted under duress.

He was sentenced to death by the Iranian Supreme Court in April.
 
A letter making a final plea to Tehran to halt the execution at the weekend was signed by 47 MEPs from 19 Member States and six political groups.
 
After learning of his death today Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "Mr Salas was a victim of religious persecution and suffered a blatant mistrial.
 
"He was considered by the Iranian state to be a religious enemy and he suffered a politically-motivated execution because of politics and his faith.
 
"We did all we could to stop the execution but the Iranian regime was set on it. They should now face the gravest condemnation from the EU leadership and the international community as a whole."

 

West Midlands MEP Anthea was at the Royal Three Counties Show today to canvass opinion on trading relationships between farmers and retailers.

Miss McIntyre is lead negotiator for her political group, the European Conservatives and Reformists, for proposed EU legislation on unfair trading practices by major food retailers.

She has a stall at the show, held at the show ground in Great Malvern, and on Friday spoke to a range of farmers, growers, processors and marketers, to hear their views on retailers’ purchasing operations. 

Miss McIntyre, Conservative Agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, also held a reception to thank figures from farming, academia, conservation, research and engineering who have helped in her two key projects: promoting the application of advanced technology in agriculture, and campaigning for a science-based approach to the regulation of pesticides and herbicides.

She said: “The Royal Three Counties is a fantastic show and a great celebration of agriculture and out rural way of life. It also gives me an opportunity to thank all the people we have worked with over the year.

“It was good to hear from farmers themselves what they think of the deal they get from the major retailers.

“In the UK we have the Grocery Code Adjudicator - a kind of mediator or referee - and that has made a big difference to the way farmers and growers are treated by the big 10 supermarkets.

“I am using the show as an opportunity for some unofficial consultation on the changes or improvements growers would like to see in the Adjudicator’s powers and responsibilities.

“I think our UK system could provide a model for the EU’s new framework so I am keen to hear about its strengths and any weaknesses.”

Campaigning MEP Anthea McIntyre is mounting a last-ditch effort to save an innocent man condemned to death in Iran.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, is still hoping she and a group of parliamentary colleagues can win a stay of execution and a retrial for Mohammad Salas.

The Iranian authorities have spurned all previous appeals for the withdrawal of a death sentence on Mr Salas and have said he will be executed after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this weekend.

Supporters say Mr Salas, a Gonabi Dervish, was wrongly convicted of the murder of three police officers when the case against him remained incomplete and unsubstantiated. Eyewitness and photographic evidence establishing his innocence was ignored by the court, while an alleged confession was extracted under duress.

He was sentenced to death by the Iranian Supreme Court in April.

With possibly only hours to go before the sentence is implemented, Miss McIntyre has circulated a letter making a final plea to Tehran to halt the execution.

It has already been signed by 47 MEPs from 19 Member States and six political groups.
 
Miss McIntyre said: "This is a victim of religious persecution who has been subjected to a flagrant mis-trial.
 
"The Iranian authorities are shaping up to follow a politically-motivated trial with a politically-motivated execution and it could now happen at any time.
 
"We are doing all we can to stop the execution get the authorities to grant him a fair hearing - but things are now desperate."



The rights of disabled people are on the agenda as Anthea McIntyre leads a delegation of MEPs to New York this week.

Miss McIntyre will head a mission made up of fellow members of the European Parliament's Employment Committee to discuss issues including employment opportunity and fair treatment at work, plus legal equality and political participation for disabled people globally.

The MEPs awill take part in the 11th conference at the United Nations Headquarters for signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, beginning tomorrow (Tues).

They will also contribute to a series of side events on subjects which include the potential for artificial intelligence to improve inclusion, and a presentation by the European Union on using development aid to improve accessibility for the disabled in under-developed countries.

Miss McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands and Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament, said:  "The issue of equal opportunity, equal access and equal recognition for disabled people is something I care about deeply. 

"You can judge a country's character as well as its progress by its expectations of disabled people. Everyone should be able to fulfil their true potential. There is still a way for us to go in the developed West before things are as they should be, but in some other parts of the word it can be a truly dismal picture.

"I know from direct experience through different organisations I have been involved in, that employment opportunities with good conditions and proper accessibility are the best way for disabled people to find fulfilment and wellbeing.
 
"That is why the Convention matters and that is why we want to see it taken up and acted upon worldwide."