Tuesday, 31 May 2016 10:07

'Survival of fittest' at rural conference

Written by  Ruralcity Media
'Survival of fittest' at rural conference

MAKING the most of the government's rural delivery plan will top the agenda at a major conference this autumn.

The second annual Rural Conference, organised by the Rural Services Network, will be held on 6-7 September in Cheltenham.

The venue is the University of Gloucestershire's Park Campus.

Called Survival of the Fittest – Making the Most of the Rural Productivity Plan, the two-day event will bring together stakeholders from across the country.

An opening panel discussion will look at ways rural communities can thrive and manage their own affairs in a post-recession world.

Led by Ivan Annibal, panelists will include Martin Lane (Cotswold Conservation Board), Colin Walker (ERYC), Elisabeth Skinner (University of Gloucestershire), John Birtwistle (First Group) and Graham Biggs (RSN).

A plenary session in the afternoon of the first day will examine issues and challenges around the delivery of rural transport services.

Community broadband delivery will be the subject of a presentation by Daniel Heerey, who helped bring broadband to Alston Moor, in Cumbria.

An informal drinks reception will take place at the end of the first day with Mark Hawthorne, chair of the LGA People and Places board, and local government finance expert Dan Bates, of Pixel.

The second day will start with a plenary session titled Local Government – where have we got to and where are we heading?.

The keynote speaker will be Tony Travers from the London School of Economics.

It will be followed by a plenary session looking at combined authorities, including a joint presentation examining the experience of Greater Lincolnshire.

Workshop sessions in the afternoon will look at environmental issues, housing innovation and place-based solutions to rural challenges.

A final plenary session with Frank Horsley (Derbyshire County Council) and Louise Driver (Leicestershire County Council) will look at thriving rural communities.

Following a Q&A session and discussion, the conference will wrap up with a debate titled "Where to Next," led by councillor Cecilia Motley, chair of the Rural Services Network.

Two-day attendance at the conference for RSN members costs £235 (£282 including VAT); and for non-members costs £285 (£342 including VAT).

Single day attendance at the conference for RSN members costs £150 (£180 including VAT); and for non-members costs £200 (£240 including VAT).

For full details and to book your place, please click here.

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