Rural Economy Inquiry Report Supports the Call for a Rural Strategy – May 2019

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy was appointed on 17 May 2018 to consider the rural economy, and while there have been studies of particular aspects of the rural economy, such as agriculture, and digital connectivity, the ad hoc inquiry sought to bring these issues together, considering the rural economy as a whole.

The Rural Economy inquiry report was published on 27 April 2019, in it the Committee have called for a comprehensive national-level rural economic strategy, to be delivered locally via communities, councils and businesses.

To view the full report click here.

The ACRE Network strongly welcome the Lords’ call for a Rural Strategy for England and look forward to this containing a clear commitment that nobody should be unreasonably disadvantaged by where they live. It is essential that all Departments of Government make the same commitment and that this is not left just to the single Department with ‘Rural Affairs’ in its title. Whether you have just been diagnosed with cancer; need help getting back into work; are trying to find your first home; bringing up a young family on a low income or seeking high quality vocational education you need the same fair access to support that is available for those living in major cities. It is not reasonable for those living in the rural parts of one of the world’s richest economies to be unreasonably disadvantaged by where they live.

The Lords’ call is the latest in a clamour for a more just approach to public services when it comes to rural areas. ACRE, the Rural Services Network, the Rural Coalition and many other organisations have signed up to an online campaign to bring about a Rural Strategy for England.

ACRE’s Chairman, David Emerson CBE, said “We are delighted that the House of Lords Rural Economy Committee has made the call for a Rural Strategy for England central to its report. This adds great weight to the calls of many rural bodies who see an urgent need for a more joined up approach to policy in rural areas. The acid test will be not only in Government’s response to their Lordships’ recommendations, but in achieving positive change for rural people who feel all too often that central Government doesn’t understand them.

ACRE and the England-wide Network of rural community development charities that it represents, stand ready to help Government work with rural communities and rural people everywhere. We exist to help ensure everyone, wherever they live, has a fair shot at all the opportunities that should be open to them.

“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”