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

Rural Vulnerability Day held in Parliament

Rural England CIC held its 2nd Annual Rural Vulnerability Day in the Houses of Parliament on 11th February and at the event, launched their latest State of Rural Services Report.

The event was hosted by Phillip Dunne MP, Rebecca Pow MP and David Drew MP and the day enabled Parliamentarians and rural interest groups to discuss a number of key issues facing vulnerable people in rural communities, including fuel poverty, safeguarding measures by utility providers, the delivery of affordable housing and improving transport provision.

Cadent and the National Housing Federation sponsored the event and there were a number of presentations focusing on the issues surrounding rural vulnerability.

The State of Rural Services report, which was welcomed at the event by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Lord Gardiner, explores evidence about the provision of eight types of service in rural areas - buses and community transport, broadband and mobile connectivity, library services, hospitals, public health services, young people's services, shops and online shopping and personal advice services.

Delivering services in rural areas often requires a different approach and the overriding message of the day was that we need to ‘think rural’ in all policy making to ensure that rural residents and communities are not left at a disadvantage.

Philip Dunne, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Services said:
"As Chair of the all party group for Rural Services, I was pleased to host the Rural Vulnerability Day in Parliament.
"This was an opportunity to bring together rural groups and stakeholders, so we can make a compelling case for pushing rural areas up the agenda for the government, backed by data.
"The State of Rural Services 2018 report compiled by Rural England gave clear themes for discussion and debate, and defined areas in which we know the government must do more."
Graham Biggs, Chief Executive of of Rural Services Network said:
"These findings confirm that the situation for people living in rural England is not improving. The country faces a time bomb if nothing is done to address their needs. Rural areas have been ignored for long enough. It is time for all policies to be rural proofed. Rural communities deserve better than they currently get, they deserve the chance to thrive."

2019 Parliamentary Rural Vulnerabilty Day


To download the agenda for the day click here

Press Release:

To download the press release associated with this event click here

State of Rural Services Report 2018:

The Rural England CIC the State of Rural Services 2018 report (published January 2019) presents the most recent evidence regarding the provision of services to residents and businesses in rural England.
It covers nine service areas, which are: Local buses and community transport, Broadband and mobile connectivity, Public library services, Hospitals, Public health services, Young people’s services, Shops and online shopping and Personal advice services
- To download the summary report click here 
- To download the full report click here

Vulnerability Booklet:

To download the vulnerability booklet associated with the event click here


All the presentations from the day can be downloaded below:

1. State of Rural Services Report 2018 - Brian Wilson, Chairman, Rural England CIC

2. Providing affordable homes in challenging rural housing market*, Teresa Jamieson, Vice-Chairman, Grayshott & District Housing Association
*To download the video which accompanied this presentation click here

3. Creating community facilities AND building affordable homes for local peopleChristine Duggan, Director of Housing and Wellbeing, Connexus

4. Villages Together- working with rural communities - Angela Gascoigne, Chief Executive, SHAL Housing

5. Regenerating a disused hospital to provide affordable housing, community facilities and a business hub - Henry Lee, External Policy & Research Co-ordinator, Hastoe Housing Association

6. Understanding Rural Vulnerability - Jo Giles, Customer Safeguarding Manager, Cadent 

7. Moving Towards Rural Vibrancy - Mike Axon, Board Director, Vectos

Event photos:

Since its successful launch in 2017 a Cross House Rural Vulnerability Group of over 50 MPs and Peers has been formed looking to bring focus on rural vulnerability issues. The organisers of the event (Rural England Community Interest Company) continue to undertake fundamental independent rural research on rural issues across England.


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