Autumn Statement: RSN Chief Executive reviews what it means for rural
Today the Chancellor promised to 'level up every corner of the UK'. RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth has been looking at what that means for rural communities:
- We welcome the news that the government is reforming the planning system to allow for faster planning applications – we want the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure. But has the Chancellor considered the lack of resources in planning departments? Local authorities will struggle to meet the deadlines if they don't have the capacity to do so.
- We welcome the rise in the minimum wage, but we have reservations about the impact this will have on small businesses in rural areas which are already struggling during the cost of living.
- We have been lobbying the government to take action to improve the national grid and whilst cutting the amount of time it is going to take to reform the grid is excellent news, 7 years is still too long to wait.
- Whilst the Chancellor offered some hope for rural communities, we believe that once again the government has failed voters living in rural areas and the organisations which serve them. Rural areas don’t want an equal slice of the pie; they want, and deserve, a fair share.
This budget has done nothing to address this.