Rural Related Politics - An RSN weekly review

3 August 2020

Below is an RSN review of last week's rural related politics as well as a look forward to the week ahead:


Last week in politics 
(27 July - 2 August)

On Monday 27th July, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice MP (Con) announced the Government’s plans to end the need to comply with the EU-delivered greening requirements and begin the move towards new Environmental Land Management scheme, which will deliver greater benefits for the environment and reduce administrative burdens for rural businesses next year. Local Government Minister Simon Clarke MP (Con) also announced that councils will receive a share of £800,000 for the Local Digital Fund to enable councils to improve public services.

On Tuesday 28th July, the Government announced that 35 police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will receive funding from a £25 million scheme to crack down on burglary and theft in crime hotspots. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also published case study research into benefits of high speed internet. Of note, rural residents reported ‘low level’ use, such as daily communications, entertainment, and online finance services. The Department for Transport also announced a Consultation on a review of The Highway Code to introduce a hierarchy of road users, clarify pedestrian and cyclist priority and establish safer overtaking. Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP (Con) also announced a new £2bn cycling and walking campaign, including new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription in order to tackle the causes of ill health.

On Wednesday 29th July, Ofcom published updated proposals to help bring faster, more reliable broadband to rural areas, in light of BT’s new commitment to extend its fibre network to a further 3.2 million rural properties.

On Thursday 30th July, the Government announced changes to rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after increase in COVID-19 cases. People in these areas will not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.

On Friday 31st July, the Government published a policy paper setting out the eligibility requirements and what employers need to do now to claim the Job Retention bonus. Also on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP delivered a press conference on COVID-19 postponing the easing of lockdown restrictions. Although higher risk settings, including casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and close contact environments, were set to reopen from August 1st, he confirmed that these changes will be postponed ‘for at least a fortnight’ and the earliest they will be able to re-open is August 15th.

This week in politics (3 August - 9 August)

Parliament rose for summer recess on Wednesday 22nd July. It will resume on Tuesday 1st September.

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