UK Rural Policy and Practitioners Research Group Meeting – 4 December 2017

Notes of UK Rural Policy and Practitioners Research Group held on 4 December 2017, London

Brian Wilson; Janet Dwyer; Jane Atterton; Jane Hart

Apologies were received from:
Aileen Stockdale; Ruth McAreavey; Paul Milbourne; David Inman


The meeting started at 11.35

Brian Wilson said that unfortunately it had not proved possible to get everyone together during the year. He referred to Paul Milbourne’s earlier notes and suggested that it would be helpful to consider what the group could realistically take forward as a work plan.

There was general consensus about the resources constraints facing Universities and the need to be realistic about what might be achievable. Janet thought that it would be difficult to commit to more than 1 meeting a year.

Janet referred to her discussions with David Inman and Graham Biggs concerning the Rural Panel and questioned whether it could be duplicated elsewhere in the UK.

There was support too for producing a limited range of statistics on selected topics which would provide a context to the panel’s surveys. Benchmarking statistics covering rural UK (using the Amazon research definition) would provide a comparison for each nation and it was thought that basic statistics on such topics as demographic, housing, vehicles, crime, education, GVA and broadband should be relatively simple to obtain, although the list could be approached incrementally.

Given the resource issues it was thought that the best way to proceed would be to start on a small scale and to monitor both use and usefulness. The following actions were agreed:

  • RE to identify availability, or otherwise, of baseline data on health and housing
  • CCRI to search for more younger panellists
  • Views of other rural academics to be sought. Specifically, Janet to talk to Aileen Stockdale, Janet/ Matt to speak with Paul Milbourne
  • UK RPPRG page to be put on RE website
  • Rural Panel material to be shared with conveners

A further meeting (skype or dial-in) of the group will be held early in 2018 to consider in more detail how to proceed.

The meeting ended at approx. 1 p.m.

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