Rural Services Network in the News

Recently, Kerry Booth, Chief Executive of the Rural Services Network, delivered a compelling op-ed in the Daily Express Newspaper. Highlighting the 'Winning The Rural Vote' campaign and asserting the crucial role of rural communities in Britain's prosperity. With a call for political parties to prioritise rural fairness, the piece articulates the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy to address rural challenges. As a general election approaches, this serves as a reminder of the power and potential of the rural vote in shaping the nation's future. 

Rural communities have been ignored for too long – it is time for action.

Rural UK voices need to be heard for Britain to prosper, Kerry Booth.

As we edge closer to a general election, the Rural Services Network (RSN) has launched its pivotal ‘Winning the Rural Vote’ campaign, highlighting the indispensable role of rural areas.

Constituting 40% of parliamentary constituencies, the rural vote is not to be ignored by any political party and this campaign is a clarion call to all to prioritise rural fairness in their manifestos.

Rural communities are at a critical juncture, grappling with underfunded services, scarce affordable housing, and inadequate digital connectivity. These issues stymie not just the quality of life for rural residents but also hinder economic growth and innovation.

The RSN proposes a thorough roadmap to rural success to address these challenges, highlighting Rural Fair Funding, Digital Connectivity, Affordable Housing, Economy, Transport, Net Zero, Rural Health and Care Services and Planning as its eight pillars.

This roadmap is not simply a list of asks but a blueprint for sustainable development and national prosperity. Rural economies, often overshadowed, are vibrant contributors to our national wealth, making up a significant share of the Gross Value Added (GVA). Recognising and supporting these areas can unleash immense economic potential and contribute to broader national growth.

Rural councils have long been underfunded by successive Governments, with urban councils this year getting 38% more in Government Funded Spending Power per head compared to rural. In times of austerity, it is even more important that funds are distributed fairly, and while funding is key, there is also a need to recognise the untapped opportunities that rural areas offer.

As political parties prepare for the election, integrating rural issues into their agendas is not only beneficial for rural communities but is a strategic imperative for national resilience and growth.

The Winning The Rural Vote campaign is more than a call to action—it's a vision for a future where every community, regardless of its location, is valued and empowered.

Now is the time for action.

Rural voices need to be heard, addressing their unique challenges, and unlocking their potential. In the tapestry of our nation, every thread—rural included—plays a crucial role.


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