“Please don’t forget us.”
How can we ‘level up rural’?
Today the Western Morning News highlights the push by West Country politicians to push for more attention to be given to rural areas:
A “rural taskforce” is needed to turbo-charge rural Britain’s prosperity, Conservative MPs have told the Government. As MPs debated levelling up rural areas of the UK, Tory MP Chris Loder for West Dorset told the Commons he will be asking Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions next week to set up a taskforce.
Fellow Conservative MP Selaine Saxby said she believes rural Britain will “be better cared for” during Mr Sunak’s time as premier, but other Tories warned ministers: “Please don’t forget us.” …
Mr Loder said a suggestion by Conservative MP for North Dorset Simon Hoare to have a “rural tsar” is “one very well-made”. North Devon MP Ms Saxby opened the debate, telling MPs: “We have to find ways to join up our thinking at Westminster and to recognise that if we want to level up rural Britain, it is not just Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) that can deliver that...
South Dorset MP Richard Drax warned ministers: “Please don’t forget us. I think we have heard that from every speaker in the House so far.” Mr Drax said rural constituencies are “so easy to forget” for ministers and compared the levelling-up programme to a teacher dividing a birthday cake for schoolchildren...
Here is an excerpt from the speech by MP Chris Loder in Parliament:
I understand that at next week’s Prime Minister’s questions I will have the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister, and I tell the Minister in advance that I will ask the Prime Minister to set up a rural taskforce so that we do not need to continually share, in debates of this nature, the difficulties that we face. I want rural Britain to get turbocharged and to lead the way. We are very fortunate in rural Britain today: some of the most entrepreneurial, creative, innovative solutions are found in this country’s rural areas. We need those solutions to help the wider country—indeed, some urban areas would do well to take them.