Plunkett welcomes Rural Statement and calls on Defra to work in partnership for the benefit of rural communities
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published its Rural Statement, billed as ‘a contract to give rural communities the power to hold Government to account on rural growth.’
The long-awaited Statement sets out the Government’s ‘vision for rural England’, formalising its commitment to helping rural businesses and rural people. It focuses primarily on the potential of superfast broadband delivery, rural business grants and Rural Growth Networks to create jobs, business opportunities and economic growth, but also recognises the impact of community ownership to deliver services in remote areas. This is the first policy statement focusing on rural communities since 2004’s Rural Strategy.
Peter Couchman, Plunkett Foundation’s Chief Executive, said: “We broadly welcome the Government’s Rural Statement and its commitment to ensuring rural communities have the support they need to take control of the issues affecting them, and we are pleased to see recognition in the statement of the work of the Plunkett Foundation and the potential community ownership has to transform lives for rural people.
“Rural communities need and expect the Government to work in partnership with a range of organisations committed to improving the lives of rural people. We at the Plunkett Foundation are committed to playing our part by supporting rural communities to start up their own businesses, which will maintain services, create opportunities for employment and volunteering, and benefit the wider rural economy.”
To read the Rural Statement visit http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/economy/policy/statement/.