Headlines: June 30th, 1998

There’s growing pressure to give people living in rural areas a greater voice – following the publication today of a new ‘White Paper’ on countryside issues.

The paper comes from the Local Government Association, which speaks for all types of local council, but is admitting that its rural member authorities are losing out to the big cities.

Its new ‘rural strategy’ calls for countryside dwellers to be represented on government quangos, a Parliamentary select committee to address rural concerns, and a fair deal for remote areas from the forthcoming Transport White Paper.

Councillor Alison Clish-Green, chair of the LGA’s commission on rural issues, said: “Rural people suffer as much as anyone else from poor schooling and a lack of affordable housing yet they carry on being totally ignored.

“We know that the government is concerned about jobs and schools but their policies have an overwhelmingly urban focus.”