Citizens Advice help people get their lives back on track through adviceRead more
The State of Rural Services Report 2021 (published in January 2022) explores the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on service provision in rural areas of England.Read more
The utilities sector has a duty to support its customers in potentially vulnerable situations, especially where they are (temporarily) left without electricity, gas or water due to a fault at the home or in the supply network.Read more
Rural England CIC launched its latest State of Rural Services Report on Wednesday 12th January with two events – one for Parliamentarians and then followed by a General Launch.
Both events were hosted, online, by Lord Ewen Cameron of Dillington. Lord Cameron was joined at the first event by Neil Parish MP and Chair of the EFRA Committee and Brian Wilson; author of the report and Chair of Directors, Rural England CIC.
At the second event, Lord Cameron, was again joined by Brian Wilson, and also by the Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, Chair of APPG Rural Services who gave his response to the report. Also at this event, Prof. Janet Dwyer, Professor of Rural Policy at the CCRI at the University of Gloucestershire, presented a report on Exploring Rural Vulnerability from a Public Utilities’ Perspective. The report work was undertaken by CCRI and Rural England CIC. The report was jointly commissioned by a small panel of utility members from Rural England’s Supporters’ Group some of who gave their response to this report at the launch. The study also received funding support from DEFRA.
- To download the agenda for the Parliamentarians launch click here
- To download the agenda for the General launch click here
State of Rural Services Report 2021:
The Report explores the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on service provision in rural areas of England, before the emergence of the Omicron variant, and focuses on a number of key issues facing rural communities. These include the use of local retail outlets and centres, the value of community assets, use of online services, cashless payment and access to cash, travel and transport services, demand for welfare services, and use of leisure spaces and outlets.
Exploring Rural Vulnerability from a Public Utilities’ Perspective:
A message from our Chair, Lord Cameron of Dillington:
All the presentations from the day can be downloaded below:
- State of Rural Services 2021: The impact of the pandemic – Brian Wilson (Chair of Directors, Rural England CIC) – Download Here
- Exploring Rural Vulnerability through a Public Utilities perspective – Fred Dunwoodie-Stirton (Research Assistant at University of Gloucestershire), Janet Dwyer (Professor of Rural Policy at the CCRI) and Brian Wilson (Chair of Directors, Rural England CIC)
Lord Cameron who Chaired the Parliamentary Launch thanked all the stakeholders and supporters who have made the work in the State of Rural Services Report possible. He added:
The research is absolutely crucial in getting us and the Government and its departments a vital, ongoing snapshot of how well rural services are being delivered and what effect that delivery is having on the quality of life of our countrysideLord Cameron of Dillington
Neil Parish MP Chair of EFRA Select Committee highlighted the importance of the Levelling Up Fund saying:
It’s not just about the North of England, but the whole country and it’s about the rural areasNeil Parish MP – Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton
Lord Foster of Bath, previous Chair of House of Lords Select Committee for the Rural Economy noted:
It seems to me that it’s the Shared Prosperity Fund and in particular, the Levelling Up Fund, and the Levelling Up Programme, where we need to persuade government that they’ve got to change their thinking from north/south, but to an urban/rural, and that is a crucial issue, and the one I think we should focus onThe Right Honourable The Lord Foster of Bath
Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP:
The challenge in our market towns is that we’ve seen high streets with more empty shops after Christmas than in previous years…that’s where the Government action on both the towns fund and the Levelling Up Fund, that’s got to be available to rural areas and not just the large towns in the conurbationsRt Hon Philip Dunne MP – Chair of the APPG for Rural Services and Member of Parliament for Ludlow
This meeting was held online via ZoomRead more
Utility Companies providing Gas, Electricity and Water all keep Priority Services Registers, this is a free service provided by suppliers and network operators and each maintain their own register.
These registers are lists of their most vulnerable customers, so that in an emergency affecting their service, they can provide them with additional support.Read more
Paying to learn – an unacceptable situation
Last week, to mark Rural Vulnerability Day 2020, we argued that despite its rhetoric, the Government is not doing enough to ‘level-up’ further educational opportunities for young people in rural areas.Read more