Sparse Rural - Services

Sparse Rural was established over 10 years ago to help support rural local authorities to campaign for fairer funding from Government. This emphasis on fairer funding remains at its core activities. Working alongside the Fair Share Group within Parliament, we have managed to year on year increase the Rural Services Delivery Grant for the most sparsely populated councils and raise the profile of the rural penalty suffered by rural Local Authorities in the Local Government Finance Settlement.

We have a wide range of services that are available to Local Authorities within our SPARSE organisation:

Fairer Funding Financial lobbying in Government about the cost of delivering services in rural areas – we specialise in this work and have made significant gains for rural authorities in recent years.
 Individual pages Comprehensive website containing specific pages of information tailored to your authority.
 Budget Analysis Financial analysis of your budgets once a year between your authority and other similar authorities.
Performance Analysis Performance benchmarking and analysis each quarter between your authority and similar rural authorities focusing on planning, recycling, benefits and council tax collection (yearly).
Neighbourhood Planning Neighbourhood Planning statistics to help in the preparation of your community or neighbourhood plan.
Community Involvement of your Local Councils, schools and Chambers of Commerce through our community group.
News Digest A weekly email news service in relation to rural issues.
 Parliamentary Representation of rural issues and challenges in Westminster at the Rural Services All Party Parliamentary Group.
 Opps Bulletin E-newsletters providing a weekly rural commentary, monthly topic and sector bulletins and monthly roundup of funding opportunities available.
Draft Response Compilation of monthly consultation requests and suggested draft responses on major rural topics.
Observatory A comprehensive rural observatory providing statistical analysis of your authorities position compared to other rural authorities.
Best Practice Library of rural best practice.
Hinterland Commentary each week on current rural topics.
E-networks E-Networking with colleagues from other rural authorities on a range of topics.
Policy and Prac Best practice calls for evidence across English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Local Authorities and compilation of results.
 Sounding Board Sounding Board of Rural Councillors responding to surveys to provide cohesive rural opinions.
 Rural Conference Annual Rural Conference
 State of Rural Services Biennial Examination of Rural Services and their operation throughout England
 Meetings Three meetings a year dealing with finance, performance and rural issues.
 Seminars A number of Seminars for Officers and Members to attend throughout England on a range of rural topics with expert speakers and practitioners.
 Economic Barometer An Economic Barometer providing information on key economic indicators in your local authority area providing a picture of your local economy.
 Rural Unitary Group Rural Unitary Local Authorities can also join our Rural Unitary Group which brings them together twice a year to work on key issues affecting them. Click here to find out more about their work and priorities.

For more information about Sparse Rural contact us on:

01822 813641
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