Rural Economy Inquiry Report Supports the Call for a Rural Strategy
The Rural Economy inquiry report was published on 27 April 2019, in it the Committee have called for a comprehensive national-level rural strategy, to be delivered locally via communities, councils and businesses. Community Lincs warmly welcomes and supports the call for a national strategy and the commitment to ensuring that: No resident or business should be disadvantaged unreasonably by their rural location.
Gail Jackson, Chief Executive of Community Lincs, welcomed the announcement, “Every day we see and experience the inequalities faced by people living in rural areas across Lincolnshire. The retraction of infrastructure organisations, closing of local amenities and limited access to transport means that rural communities face unreasonable disadvantage and hardship. We absolutely welcome the findings of the report and are looking forward to supporting the call for a rural strategy on behalf of the people we work with.”
The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy was appointed on 17 May 2018 to consider the rural economy, and while there have been studies of particular aspects of the rural economy, such as agriculture, and digital connectivity, the ad hoc inquiry sought to bring these issues together, considering the rural economy as a whole.
In July 2018 the Committee began taking written and oral evidence; national body Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) was a contributing organisation. Community Lincs provided evidence to ACRE about the issues and challenges facing Lincolnshire communities.
ACRE’s Chairman, David Emerson CBE, said: “We are delighted that the House of Lords Rural Economy Committee has made the call for a Rural Strategy for England central to its report. This adds great weight to the calls of the many rural bodies who see an urgent need for a more joined up approach to policy in rural areas. The acid test will be not only be in Government’s response to their Lordships’ recommendations, but in achieving positive change for rural people who feel all too often that central Government doesn’t understand them.”
The Lords’ call is the latest in a clamour for an equal approach to public services in rural areas. Community Lincs, ACRE, the Rural Services Network, the Rural Coalition and many other organisations have already signed up to an online campaign calling for a Rural Strategy for England https://rsnonline.org.uk/time-for-a-rural-strategy
Community Lincs is a charity, based in Sleaford, whose vision is a Lincolnshire where people are connected, communities thrive and opportunities exist for all. Community Lincs has offered vital services across Lincolnshire for over 90 years and maintains a clear and steady focus on the needs of Lincolnshire people, by developing high-quality and needs-led services to help individuals deliver a better future for themselves, the people they care about and the communities they live in. www.communitylincs.com or call 01529 302466