ACRE supports the Rural Services Network and other rural services providers in urging Government to put in place a cross-Whitehall Rural Strategy for England.
ACRE’s recent evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees has demonstrated a diminished focus on the potential of rural areas and it called for a renewed focus on ‘rural proofing’, with all Whitehall departments ensuring a rural dimension within their policy making.
ACRE Network members work tirelessly to support rural communities to provide a range of services and facilities including transport, health, affordable housing and community spaces which can house shops, cafes and even education activities. But these communities cannot do this alone; their fight for sustainability needs the active coordinated support of central and local government too. Without this, areas become disadvantaged and left behind, without essential services and facilities.
Taxpayers’ money should be to provide access to opportunities and services for the whole population.
ACRE is keen to see Government articulate high-level rural policy objectives to be implemented across Whitehall, demonstrating a commitment to ensure that nobody is unreasonably disadvantaged by where they live; thereby placing people and communities at the heart of the rural policy agenda.
David Emerson, ACRE Chair said “Many rural residents across England contribute their time and local knowledge to support the delivery of services for their communities. However, taxpayers’ money should be to provide access to opportunities and services for the whole population. What is now clear is that a high level commitment from Government is needed to ensure that rural communities are provided with fair access and facilities.”