Rural Services Network Responds to Prime Minister's General Election Announcement

Rural Services Network Ramps Up Efforts to Secure Fair Funding for Rural Areas

The Rural Services Network (RSN) acknowledges the Prime Minister's announcement this evening of a general election to be held on 4 July 2024. In light of this significant political development, RSN is intensifying its efforts to engage with all political parties, ensuring they understand and address the unique challenges faced by rural communities.

As the national champion and advocate for rural services across England our 'Winning the Rural Vote' campaign is at the forefront of this initiative. With 40% of constituencies classified as rural, their influence is undeniable, and their needs must be met to secure the prosperity of the nation as a whole.

Kerry Booth, Chief Executive of RSN:

As we approach this pivotal general election, it is crucial that the voices of rural communities are not just heard but acted upon. For too long, rural areas have been underfunded and overlooked, leading to significant disparities in public services, housing, and economic opportunities. Our 'Winning the Rural Vote' campaign lays out a clear roadmap for achieving fair funding and equitable treatment for rural areas. We urge all political parties to commit to these essential changes, ensuring that rural communities can thrive and contribute fully to the nation's prosperity.

Key Points of the Winning the Rural Vote Campaign:
1. Fair Funding for Public Services:
  • Urban residents receive 36% more in government-funded spending power per head compared to rural residents.
  • Rural voters pay, on average, 20% more per head in Council Tax due to lower government grants to rural councils.
2. Support for Rural Economies:
  • The rural economy encompasses over half a million businesses, 90% of which are micro or small businesses.
  • There is a need for tailored support programmes that reflect the diverse nature of the rural economy, beyond agriculture and tourism.
3. Accessible and Quality Healthcare:
  • Rural residents face longer wait times for ambulances and have fewer healthcare resources.
  • There is an urgent need for better public and mental health services, especially given the higher proportion of elderly residents in rural areas.
4. Affordable Housing:
  • High housing costs and the lack of affordable rental options hinder the ability of rural residents to live and work in their communities.
  • Policies must address the specific housing needs of rural areas to ensure sustainable community growth.
5. Improved Transport and Connectivity:
  • Rural public transport services are infrequent, and digital connectivity lags behind urban areas.
  • Investing in transport and digital infrastructure is essential to reduce social isolation and open economic opportunities.

Our roadmap to rural success outlines clear, actionable policies that all political parties can adopt to ensure that rural areas receive the attention and resources they deserve. The upcoming election is a decisive moment to bring about change that will benefit not only rural communities but the entire nation.

For more information about the 'Winning the Rural Vote' campaign and to read our comprehensive roadmap, please visit


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