Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council leaders are supporting the demands of the Rural Service Network for central government to recognise the needs of rural communities and develop a Rural Strategy.
The needs of communities in rural areas, which accounts for 17% of the UK population, are different from those in urban areas and are often not considered in central government decision making in the setting of financial grants or introduction of policies.
Councillor John Ward, Babergh Council leader said: “It is time that central government acknowledges the challenges faced by district and parish councils, in trying to develop sustainable communities and thriving business economies but are hindered by polices that undermine the work we are trying to do. We’re often the poor relations in grant funding compared to urban area authorities.”
Councillor Nick Gowley, Mid Suffolk Council Leader said: “The needs of our communities are key in the work that we do, and we need the support of central government to enable us to offer suitable and sustainable services and practices across our district. It is time that rural districts are given proper consideration and funding to meet those needs and offer the right level of service. Allocation of funds must be done on a fairer footing.”
The Rural Service Network is the national champion for rural services, ensuring that people in rural areas have a strong voice - fighting for a fairer deal for rural communities to maintain their social and economic viability for the benefit of the nation.