Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Journal: A Government Not at Home in the Country

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Journal: A Government Not at Home in the Country

Article excerpt

THERE are two ways at least of looking at the new warning concerning the damage being inflicted on rural areas such as Northumberland.

Some, with voices hoarse from railing against injustices meted out to rural communities as a consequence of official policies steeped in urban bias, will say: "I told you so". And indeed they did.

But there will be others who, while not denying that, will be grateful the head of the Commission for Rural Communities has found his own voice and used it to such effect.

Graham Garbutt doesn't pull his punches while dissecting the "urbanist fashion" that influences policy makers or when he exposes the inadequacies of the efforts directed towards rural areas and their communities.

As the head of a quango whose appointment by the Government will have resulted from appreciation of his expertise, it is possible that Mr Garbutt might even find he has an interested audience in Whitehall.

However, he could also find the opposite is the case, for this is a Government with a truly curious attitude to the countryside and those who inhabit it. …

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