Monday, 10 August 2015 07:27

Rural discussion paper published

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural discussion paper published

THE government has published a discussion paper examining the future of rural communities.

Industry, academic and voluntary sector experts explored the opportunities and challenges facing rural communities.

It comes after civil servants were asked to look into external experts' views on the future of rural communities.

The Cabinet Secretary's advisory group asked the Horizon Scanning Programme Team and Defra to examine the issue last year.

Sir Mark Walport invited a number of leading industry, academic and voluntary-sector experts to a meeting with permanent secretaries and chief scientific advisors.

Attendees discussed issues that specifically impact on rural areas, including dispersed populations and connectivity to physical and virtual services.

They also discussed issues that affect both rural and urban areas, but in different ways - such as ageing, population growth and affordable housing.

The discussion paper - What will rural communities look like in the future? - reports the main points discussed.

It is not a statement of government policy.

New technologies could help to deliver public services in innovative and sustainable ways to rural communities, particularly in the healthcare sector, says the discussion paper.

Attendees discussed how sharing backoffice functions between public sector service providers in rural areas could help to bring down overall costs in the future.

One attendee felt that strict performance benchmarks for public services could act as a barrier to rural provision.

This was because they felt - in some instances - that meeting targets in rural communities was harder to achieve than in cities.

Attendees concluded by discussing whether a "rural communities" agreement would be needed regarding acceptable service levels.

The full discussion paper can be downloaded here.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Ron Davis Cllr Wychavon DC)


    A major concern in the Rural Communities is not only affordable housing but Transport in order for the Ageing population to get to the Local Doctors and/or the shops and Post Office!!

  • Guest (Nick Thwaites)


    There is a great difference between rural & city communities. A city is able to meet housing needs & associated transport costs by a larger population taxed for a smaller area. Where by in rural areas the population is smaller but the area tends to be much larger. Hence transport over a large area is needed but the cost is higher & have to be covered by a small number of people taxed.Each area needs to be treated differently, one size does NOT fit all.

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