Chair of Rural Services Network re-elected

The RSN was delighted that Councillor Cecilia Motley was re-elected as its Chair at the Annual General Meeting on Monday 15th November

Councillor Motley has held the position of Chair for a number of years and brings with her a wealth of rural experience to support the RSN.

Councillor Motley has represented Shropshire Council on the Rural Services Network since 2007 and was a Vice Chair until 2014 when she was elected Chair.  She has a wide range of experience in Local Government, having been a Local Councillor since 2003, a past Leader of South Shropshire District Council and a Unitary Council Member for Shropshire since 2009, holding a number of Portfolio positions.  She is currently Portfolio Holder for Communities, Culture, Leisure & Tourism, Transport.

Councillor Motley has overseen the RSN during the last year respond to the challenges of the pandemic, and continue to provide a strong voice for rural communities.   

Complex issues such as lack of connectivity in rural areas, lack of affordable housing, poor transport links and challenges with the rural economy during covid, need to be addressed by Government now more than ever as the country recovers from the effects of the last 18 months and yet rural areas are still not fairly funded.  Urban areas in 21/22 still receive some 61% (£107) per head in Settlement Funding Assessment grant more than their rural counterparts.  Rural residents pay, on average, 19% (£96) per head more in Council Tax than their urban counterparts due to receiving less government grant.

This year, the RSN launched its Revitalising Rural campaign, calling on Government to take action in a number of key policy areas.  Councillor Motley is determined that this campaign will grow in strength over the coming year, as the RSN wants Government to enable rural areas to 'level up' areas of historic underfunding and realise their full potential.

Councillor Roger Phillips was elected Deputy Chair of the Rural Services Network at the AGM, enabling him to provide a key supporting role in the work of the RSN and the Revitalising Rural campaign in the coming year.

Councillor Phillips represents Herefordshire County Council.


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.