As an organisation we are keen to develop and share best practice and encourage our members to network together to share ideas and initiatives.

We do this through a range of networking opportunities:

E-Networking - For Local Government Officers to network and share best practice

Rural Health Network - The Network will enable health professionals to better share best practice, share learning about delivering high quality services to rural communities and engaging effectively with them.

Rural Housing Network - For those involved in rural housing including Housing Associations to come together to share best practice.

You can also find information on potential funding opportunities and a service to enable you to comment on relevant consultations as they occur.

Sub Categories

Opportunities Bulletin

A monthly bulletin setting out current funding opportunities and details of government consultations of interest to rural stakeholders.

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Consultation Responses

A service providing a base consultation response from the rural service perspective on all the key consultations. The service allows authorities ease of response to these exercises by either using or amending the responses as they see fit.

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We recognise that in these times of budget cuts, reductions in funding, and the pressure to find more efficient ways of working, officers need help and support from their peers more than ever.

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Rural Health Network

This area includes news stories and information about rural health services with information about the Rural Health Network

You can access this section by clicking here

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Rural Housing Network

This area includes news stories and information about rural housing services with information about the Rural Housing Network

You can access this section by clicking here

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Rural Fire and Rescue Services

fire and rescue webpageThe RSN runs a Fire and Rescue Service Sub Group. It involves some 15 of the Countries' most rural Fire and Rescue Services. The group comprises both County and Combined services. It is the only group nationally dealing solely with rural fire and rescue service issues.

Rural fire operation is often operated in large part through voluntary or retained members of the public and it is important that this system of fire and rescue service operation is, on occasions, given some special consideration. The link between community involvement and the local fire and rescue service is often at its strongest in rural areas and this deserves special consideration and broadcasting.

Despite the fact that many of the rural fire and rescue services are retained - in common with many other services - rurality occasions costs which are greater than will be found in other areas. To not have these costs adequately recognised in funding formulae means a Fire and Rescue Service that has rural areas can experiences overall budgetary difficulties greater than other similar services in the country.

Rural Areas often produce call out requirements that vary to the norm. Open countryside fires, flooding and incidents occasioned involving classified roads with higher than average traffic speeds are examples of this. Group consideration of these work areas and sharing best practice are important.

Because of rurality older people in particular can be more vulnerable in rural areas and as the percentage of elderly people in rural areas is predicted to grow sharply over the coming years so special consideration of preventive education becomes increasingly important.
Rural areas will always have a thinner service just through their very characteristic. However as public expenditure cuts take place a starting thin service can be a greater problem. The need for liaison between 'blue light' services themselves and with the local councils is very definitely required and the group looks to play an important role in this area.

Our Fire and Rescue members are:

Buckinghamshire Cheshire Cornwall Cumbria Devon and Somerset
Dorset Essex Hereford & Worcester Lincolnshire Norfolk
Northants Shropshire Warwickshire West Sussex Wiltshire

The group meetings minutes can be found below:


 The RSN Constitution sets out the formal role of the group in the following way:

(a)To seek to achieve maximum linkage between the operation of Fire and Rescue Services in rural areas and the communities involved.

(b)To seek to share operational experience and best practice established through providing services in rural areas

(c)To argue the financial case relating to the additional costs of Fire and Rescue Services operation in areas classified as Predominantly and Significant Rural.

(d) To Address the Fire & Rescue Service issues which are unique or more prevalent in rural areas (retained fire service operation, open countryside fires and flooding and accidents involving classified roads are examples.)

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Latest tweets


Unlocking digital potential
A consultation on 'Unlocking Rural Britain's Digital Potential' has been launched. More details here

Brexit module

For information about the full implications and the repercussions on rural areas click here

BBC Countryfile Magazine

Countryfile magazine
For the latest issue of BBC Countryfile magazine, click here

funding module website

Fairer Funding
For our Fairer Funding campaign information click here


Local Authority pages
To access tailored information on your local authority, click here


Parliamentary Group
For the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services, click here.

Our Events

Our Events
For Rural Services Network events and notable dates, click here.