Shropshire councillor in renewed calls for a rural strategy

A Shropshire councillor is leading fresh calls for the government to produce a national rural strategy.

The Rural Services Network's Annual National Rural Conference saw more than 120 representatives of rural authorities, service providers and countryside groups, vote unanimously to strengthen calls for a rural strategy.

Shropshire councillor Cecilia Motley, who represents Corvedale, is chair of the Rural Services Network.

She said she was hopeful that the renewed calls would lead the government to take action.

Conference delegates came out 100 per cent in favour of asking the government to think again about its reticence over taking action on behalf of rural communities.

At the heart of the discussions was a shared conviction that 'no-one should be disadvantaged by where they live'.

Delegates heard of a number of problems people living in rural areas often face, including accessing affordable housing, public transport, loneliness, and protecting the landscape.


They concluded that the antidote to many of the issues discussed would only work if individual policy strands were joined up around a cohesive pattern of coordinated actions.

The glue that offers to bind this together is a rural strategy.

Councillor Motley said: “The breadth and depth of the commitment from organisations from across all spectrums of the rural agenda for a rural strategy is massively borne out by the discussions and actions today.

"We have a wide body of grass roots support and in Parliament and other places.

"I hope on the strength of this that we will be able to convince government to revisit its thinking and agree with us about the crucial importance of a national rural strategy.”

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