The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

RSN and Rural Coalition meet DEFRA Minister

Last week our Chief Executive Kerry Booth was part of a group of key national rural organisations that meet with the DEFRA Minister Robbie Moore MP. Holding the post of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Water and Rural Growth, Robbie attended a quarterly meeting of the Rural Coalition to talk about his plans for rural communities and to listen to the concerns of key rural bodies around the table.

The Rural Coalition is a grouping of 12 national rural organisations that come together and subscribe to a vision of a living and working countryside in England.

At the meeting, Kerry was able to share the concerns of the Rural Services Network with the Minister on fair funding for rural public services. 

She highlighted the unfair allocation of funding which means that in 2024-2025:

  • Urban Councils will receive 36% MORE in Government Funded Spending Power per head compared to rural councils, and
  • Rural Residents pay on average 20% MORE in Council Tax due to years of underfunding.

The Coalition published their roadmap for the political parties ahead of the general election, A Better Future for Rural England which highlights 10 policy outcomes it would like to see happen.  This includes A Comprehensive Rural Strategy to deliver sustainable growth for communities and businesses, and Fairer Funding, with the additional costs of delivery in sparsely populated areas fully recognised and taken into account.

The meeting was a good opportunity to build working relationships with the Minister for Growth, and the RSN looks forward to working with him in future to help enable rural communities to develop to their full potential.

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