Rural Partners Reach Out to New Prime Minister Boris Johnson
by Felicity Humphrey,

ACRE, Plunkett Foundation, The Rural Coalition and The Rural Services Network have come together to reach out to new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The letter brings focus to rural issues in the hopes Mr Johnson will recognise those in rural areas and work with us to stop our communities from being left behind and without vital services.

You can read the letter below.

26 July 2019

Dear Prime Minister

RE-ENERGISING RURAL ENGLAND

May we congratulate and welcome you on your appointment as Prime Minister. The members of our four organisations are drawn from across rural England and, although our particular perspectives may differ, we share a common interest in achieving and sustaining a living, working and thriving countryside.

We have been much encouraged at your commitments to ensure every household has access to full-fibre; to addressing the inequalities in funding for schools; and in tackling the major issue of social care, particularly for the elderly. These issues are of particular concern to the people who live and work in rural England. But there are also other issues which affect the well-being of rural communities and rural businesses and prevent them from contributing fully to the national good. That is why our organisations, supported by many others, have led the call for a comprehensive rural strategy which will tackle the issues of the severe lack of affordable housing, patchy connectivity, lack of skills, piecemeal delivery, inadequate and unequal funding and poor rural proofing of policy. More importantly, it should set out a framework for unlocking the full potential and energy of rural England.

We are keen to work with your Government on developing such a strategy and, more widely, on helping to ensure that the rural voice is heard and taken into account as policies and delivery programmes are developed. Our members have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to be drawn on.

We very much look forward to working with you. We are writing separately to Theresa Villiers, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in her capacity as lead Minister for rural policy, and are also copying this letter to her.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Cecilia Motley, Chair,
Rural Services Network (RSN)

David Emerson, CBE,
Chair, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

Margaret Clark CBE,
Chair, Rural Coalition and Chair, Plunkett Foundation