Getting rural Britain back to work – Rural Coalition letter to George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
by Phillip Vincent,

Getting rural Britain back to work – Rural Coalition letter to George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

National charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is calling on the government to show sensitivity to the needs and circumstances of rural communities when lifting the current Covid-19 restrictions.

The coming months will be critical for ensuring that communities and businesses in rural areas receive support and guidance that reflects their unique circumstances

A letter, signed by 13 organisations which make up the Rural Coalition, outlines considerations and practical recommendations for making sure the rural economy is helped to recover, whilst safeguarding the health of rural residents.

Richard Quallington, ACRE’s Executive Director said, “Coronavirus has seen the countryside effectively closed for business. The coming months will be critical for ensuring that communities and businesses in rural areas receive support and guidance that reflects their unique circumstances and helps them back to work. The proposals we have set out with the Rural Coalition provide a means by which government can engage with rural communities to achieve this.”

Recommendations include risk assessments suitable for use by village halls that allow for an informed and tailored approach to reopening, community-level tracking and tracing of the virus, longer-term financial support for rural businesses and voluntary sector organisations which may find it harder to resume operations and improving rural residents access to services and information, much of which is online.

The Rural Coalition is hopeful the government will take these recommendations into consideration ahead of announcing plans for lifting the lockdown, expected shortly.

You can read the letter to George Eustice MP in full here