Policy Briefings

Building upon its Rural Services Manifesto, produced for the 2015 General Election, the Rural Services Network is developing a series of policy briefing notes.

These policy notes seek to outline the main rural issues and list the policy changes RSN would like to see come about.

They provide up-to-date statements of RSN policy positions on key topics affecting rural communities, businesses and areas.

They are created primarily for use by RSN members, though we would be happy for them to be quoted from or sent to others where influencing opportunities arise.

They are intended to help inform local and national influencing activities.

Users of the policy briefing notes may wish to draw upon them when responding to consultations.

The Rural Services Network would also encourage its local authority members to consider running scrutiny reviews on these topics, as they play out locally.

We would be very pleased to learn the outcome from such reviews.


* Vital Village Services

Local services such as village shops, post offices and pubs, lie at the heart of rural communities.


* Devolution

Local authorities are best placed to decide how and whether to devolve powers, functions and budgets to the local level.


* Broadband connectivity

How to ensure fast broadband networks reach deep rural areas which have not so far benefited.


* Access to health services

Making health services more accessible to rural communities, including through fairer funding.


* Affordable housing

Retaining and delivering affordable housing in smaller rural settlements.


* Public transport

Providing transport options for access to employment, training, services and leisure.


* Rural economy

Government economic policies should be rural proofed so rural areas can contribute fully to economic growth.


* Fuel poverty

Recognising and acting to alleviate the extent of rural fuel poverty.


* Planning

Recognising and acting to alleviate the extent of rural fuel poverty.


We intend to update the notes from time to time, to reflect policy developments.


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


For analysis and comment on key rural services, click here.


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