Time for a strategy for the rural economy, says Lords Committee

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The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy has published their report on the rural economy and called on the Government to develop a rural strategy and help realise the potential of rural economies.

The report sets out a range of recommendations across different policy areas to tackle the challenges facing the rural economy.

Issues including the UK’s impending departure from the EU, cuts to local authorities’ budgets, digital connectivity, affordable housing, and an ageing rural population make this an ideal moment for the Government to develop a comprehensive rural strategy, to set out its ambition for rural areas.

The reports points out that the Government needs to rethink and reform the rural proofing process to ensure that relevant policies and legislation are attuned to the needs of rural communities and rural economies. Local Government and other public bodies should develop their own local rural strategies consistent with the Government framework, and be responsible and accountable for their implementation.

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