Magazine article Public Finance

Report Warns of Rural Poverty

Magazine article Public Finance

Report Warns of Rural Poverty

Article excerpt

A lack of infrastructure, affordable housing and service provision is leaving rural residents feeling like second-class citizens', according to a report.

The Rural Services Network, a coalition of more than 250 service providers, including councils, accused the government of consistently failing to do enough to protect the needs of people living in the countryside.

Graham Biggs, the network's chief officer, said: 'The government has broken its pledge that nobody should be disadvantaged because of where they live. We hope that our report will serve as a wake-up call that rural citizens are not prepared to be treated as second class.'

The report, Sustaining rural communities, published on March 3, calls on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to assume responsibility for and act swiftly on the findings of the Taylor Review into affordable rural housing, due to report in the summer.

It demands a fundamental review of the way that the planning system applies the test of sustainability in rural areas. It also calls for a redistribution of public funds as recognition of the extra costs of providing services in the countryside. …

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