There was a very good meeting of the RMTG Councillor Advisory Group last Tuesday 11th of October.
Over 30 Council representatives attended this virtual event which ran for a very, very full 90-minute zoom teatime slot!
There was a very detailed agenda for this meeting which contained several full presentations. It contained some good debates! And brought forward some excellent suggestions!
RURAL SOUNDING BOARDS
The meeting began by updating members about the progress made in August by the two Sounding Boards which had been established relating to Older People and to Young People in Rural Areas. The RMTG group had been concerned that the rural and rural market town experiences were not being picked up by national organisations in these fields whose work was often felt to be city centric. This had triggered the formation of RMTG Rural and Rural Market Town Sounding Boards for these areas so that rural situations could be detailed as well. The initial virtual meetings had gone very well and had explored the wished-for remits and a lot of ambitions! Surveys from these would go across out to all RMTG members. More Councillor members were also welcomed to come onto the Sounding Boards themselves.
Cllr Ewen Sinclair detailed how Ledbury TC had gone about the task of preparation and circulation of a Vulnerability Leaflet across all the towns residences, very much targeted at trying to assist those in need. The leaflet they had issued was circulated and discussed.
Chief Executive, Graham Biggs, gave a detailed presentation about the work done by the RSN in this area. The government had now given an indication that this could be extended to rural areas to give general rural and rural town consideration, but it was evident that this work would involve an extended process.
MARKET TOWN QUESTIONNARE
David Inman explained the aims for the questionnaire which would be sent out to all members very shortly. It was vital RMTG should have information from all members about their local Catchments, Town Markets, Shopping Facilities, Economic Assessments, believed Visitor Numbers, and their Significant Events - if RMTG was going to be able to achieve its intended full potential. Every Town and Parish in the Group was therefore asked to complete this survey.
THE RURAL COST OF LIVING
The RSN has published research into the Cost of Living in Rural Areas. It showed that rural areas face a triple whammy of higher energy costs, higher transport costs and lower wages.
RURAL TOWN CENTRE, HIGH STREET AND VILLAGE HUBS SEMINAR
This seminar was being held on the 2nd of November and it was to be an important event. All were welcome to register for it.
HOMELESSNESS IN RURAL AREAS
It was considered that this was very much understated statistically as it was far less evident in countryside areas, but significantly more threatening in terms of health.
The group set up for member information sharing was now up and operating. The next meeting of this Group would be on the 27th of March. One for the 2023 diaries!
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