The Welsh Local Government Association has launched their vision for rural Wales in order to address the address some of the challenges and opportunities facing those areas. The manifesto outlines what they describe as seven ‘key asks’ from WLGA’s Rural Forum, that includes nine of Welsh rural authorities, to support dynamic and lively communities across rural Wales. The seven ‘key asks’ are:
- Diversifying the rural economic base and adopting a circular economy approach to natural rural products.
- A targeted rural youth programme to invest, upskill and retain bright and talented young people in rural communities.
- Adding value to rural infrastructure.
- A sustainable tourism sector that supports local communities, businesses and people.
- Housing to reflect local community needs.
- Smart and thriving Rural Towns.
- Community wealth building and addressing the Missing Middle of the Welsh economy.
The vision outlined includes policy proposals for the rural economy that seek to improve and complement future agricultural policy, by addressing the complex range of challenges identified by its members’ forum.
The manifesto has been produced in time for this year’s Senedd elections and highlights the importance of rural communities to Wales, and it will be interesting to see how the vision can be implemented as part of the Welsh Government’s new plans.