Can the White Paper deliver levelling up for rural areas?

“Rural voters will punish the Conservative party at the polls unless committed and effective action is taken to help countryside communities.”

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Shropshire County Councillor Cecilia Motley, Conservative, is portfolio holder for communities:

Councillor details – Cecilia Motley — Shropshire Council

She is also the chair of the Rural Services Network:

Councillor Cecilia Motley re-elected as Chair of national Rural Services Network – Shropshire Council Newsroom

And as such, she has been rather lukewarm when it comes to promises of ‘levelling up’ for rural areas: here are the opening and closing paragraphs of a recent piece:

Launched with a flurry of grand statements, the ‘Levelling up the UK’ White Paper promised to ‘break the link between geography and destiny, so that no matter where you live you have access to the same opportunities’…

Can the White Paper deliver levelling up for rural areas? It can, but it needs to measure the current status quo at the right level, and introduce targeted interventions, delivered locally, that meet rural challenges and enable our rural areas to achieve their full potential. Unless such efforts are made, the verdict on the levelling up White Paper from the rural perspective will be ‘could do better’. This would be a serious lost opportunity to transform rural services.

Will ‘levelling up’ deliver for rural areas? | first magazine for councillors

Will ‘levelling up’ deliver for rural areas? – Rural Services Network

Meanwhile, the Country Land and Business Association looks at the All Party Parliamentary Group on The Rural Powerhouse which has published a £43bn blueprint for economic growth in the countryside:

Parliamentary group launches major report into rural economy • CLA

And tomorrow is crunch time:

Rural voters will punish the Conservative party at the polls unless committed and effective action is taken to help countryside communities, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has warned.

Local elections 2022: Rural voters could punish Tories over lack of levelling up policies | Yorkshire Post

As it’s not exactly easy in these difficult times for key workers living in rural areas:

Rising fuel prices and parking fees upping financial pressure on nurses | Nursing Times

author: John Copleston

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