A report by the Rural coalition has called on all political parties to commit to policies that will help strengthen rural communities in England before the next general election.
The coalition, which is formed of 13 organisations across England, including the NFU, the Plunkett Foundation and the National Housing Federation, have called on all parties to ensure that their manifestos include policy ideas that will help to improve conditions for rural businesses and communities. Many of the problems facing rural England are very similar to the ones to be found in the Welsh countryside and a report such as this one provides learning opportunities regarding what is happening across the border. The report draws attention to familiar problems that need to be addressed urgently to ensure a successful and sustainable future for rural areas.
Included in the demands of the group are calls on any future Westminster Government to pledge:
- That they have a comprehensive rural strategy that brings different government departments together in the name of ensuring sustainable growth for rural communities and businesses.
- That they ensure fair funding so that the gap between rural and urban budgets are closed.
- To ensure investment in rural infrastructure, including expansion of the national grid, investment in broadband and provide an adequate transport network.
- To create a sustainable plan to help people adapt to changes in climate.
- To create a rural economy by investing in skills and training.
You can read more of the recommendations of the Rural Coalition in the full report, which can be found here.