Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) urges government to support rural communities during COVID-19 outbreak.
ACRE has partnered with like-minded rural organisations the Rural Services Network (RSN), the Rural Coalition and The Plunkett Foundation in writing to George Eustice Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The letter highlights the organisations concerns for the rural communities they support and details their unique issues, such as rural workers who are self-employed and will be dramatically affected by loss of income or for the elderly population who live some distance from their families and are dependent on local support. The letter reads, “It is essential that statutory and voluntary run care services for the elderly and vulnerable people are maintained.”
It is essential that statutory and voluntary run care services for the elderly and vulnerable people are maintained
The letter also raises concerns over finances for rural charities such as village halls which are run purely by volunteers and provide a backbone for village life; “It is important that some additional support is provided to keep village halls afloat. For example, a special revenue grants scheme could be introduced, and a loan repayment holiday brought in for those who have loans with the government loan fund administered by ACRE.”
The letter dated March 20th was sent to the government before the Prime Minister’s latest guidance that any non-key workers should remain indoors, only leaving for essential shopping and exercise once a day. ACRE has a long history of working closely with Defra and is confident they will respond positively and work to ensure rural communities are supported through such uncertain times.
To read the letter in full click the link below.