27/10/21 - RSN Seminar: Town Centres, High Streets & Village Hubs

Date: 27th October 2021
Subject: Town Centres, High Streets & Village Hubs
Chair: Graham Biggs MBE, Chief Executive, Rural Services Network
- To download the Agenda for this seminar click here
- To view the welcome message from the RSN click here
- To download the Learning Outcomes from this seminar click here
- To view the Attendance and Apologies for this seminar click here

Speakers:
Learning Outcomes:

Examples of Good Practice/Reports/Information
Key Learning Points
The Pandemic Legacy, Rural Shops & Changing Communities which will focus on rural element of latest shop report
  • In the last year, Convenience Stores have achieved £16bn in sales and provided jobs for 126,500 people.
  • 79% of convenience stores in rural areas are independently owned.
  • 64% own their business, 13% work more than 70 hours per week and nearly a quarter take no holiday per year.
  • 54% trade in isolation ie no other stores or businesses near by
  • Since the pandemic, rural convenience stores now provide over 600,000 home deliveries a week and have adjusted their product ranges accordingly
  • Levelling Up – need policy makers to invest in local not regional and promote 15-minute neighbourhoods.
  • Use Growth hubs to support local and circular economies
  • ACS and RSN working with two big ATM operators re access to cash.
The Challenges Faced by a Rural Sub-Postmaster
  • Challenges include operating costs, demanding hours, accountability, competition. Minimum wage goes up but little wiggle room to earn more money to pay for this. 
  • Valued by customers, work varied and belonging to a community
  • Need fair renumeration rates for sub-postmasters and Banks to contribute to Outreach and banking service costs
  • Outreach work is very demanding physically, time consuming travelling to diverse locations and out in adverse weather. It’s a good solution but not perfect and vans often struggle with internet signal. 
  • Also have to consider if a member of staff is sick – which one do you do? Outreach or main Post Office – can’t do both.
  • Concern where the next generation of sub-postmasters will come. Most PO’s are based in someone’s house and very expensive to buy now and set up afresh.
  • Work long hours to always be open and not let anyone down in community.
  • Social value – keeping an eye on most vulnerable – informal and voluntary sup
  • Local farming community a great support to Post Office – understand the value of buying local and keeping local
Any Other Key Outcomes from the Seminar

RSN’s Revitalising Rural Campaign Specific Policy Asks of the Government is for fairer distribution of national resources to rural areas and more nuanced national policies. There are 14 Chapters in the campaign; and one looks at Rural Economies, at Rural Town Centres and High Streets and also Challenges facing Young People in Rural Areas.

As new Government strategies are announced, RSN puts them through a “Rural Lens Review” which adds depth and texture to the Policy Asks. A fresh crosscut of the Revitalising document being worked on will look in more depth at younger people. It will also look at the impact of various issues on younger people and develop case studies (personal experiences) rather than dry policy discussions. One of these reviews looks at Government Place Based Funds and another at Build Back Better High Streets.

RSN report with Pragmatix Advisory on how there is bias in the metrics used towards northern, urban red-wall areas in the allocation criteria of the Levelling Up and other Funds.

RSN report with Pragmatix Advisory on recognising and addressing the post-pandemic rural productivity challenge – Cultivating rural growth.

Analysis and Commentary pieces for Rural Services Network by Jessica Sellick, Researcher at Rose Regeneration: From Survival to Revival: How can we Regenerate our High Streets?

RSN Member Insights produced by Dan Worth, Research & Performance Analyst, RSN. Please click on the link to access the Economy Insights.


Attendance and Apologies

Attendance:

Full Name

Organisation

Vinia Abesamis

Herefordshire Council

Bethan Aldridge

Rural Services Network

Cllr Chris Allen

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council

James Armstrong

Northumberland County Council

Chris Ashman

Isle of Wight Council

Daniel Ayiah

Herefordshire Council

David Barnes

Belper Town Council

Cllr Belinda Bawden

Lyme Regis Town Council

Cllr Owen Bierley

West Lindsey District Council

Graham Biggs

Rural Services Network

Prof. Gary Bosworth

Northumbria University

Steve Broome

East Sussex County Council

Alison Brown

Cambridgeshire ACRE

Lillian Burns

National Association of Local Councils (NALC)

Cllr Julie Carr

Lewes District Council

Esther Carter

Sedgemoor District Council

Cllr Stephen Clarke

West Northamptonshire Council

Josyanne Clarke

North Somerset Council

Zoe Cornick

Rugby Borough Council

Abi Culley

Warwickshire County Council

Angela Daly

Irthlingborough Town Council

Andy Dean

Rural Services Network

Cllr James Deane

Petersfield Town Council

Cllr Judith Derbyshire

Eden District Council

Marina Di Salvatore

West Lindsey District Council

Christine Donnelly

National Federation of Sub Postmasters

Steve Dowling

Association of Convenience Stores

Richard Dowson

Raising Aspirations Empowering Change Ltd

Andrea Durn

Wotton Under Edge Town Council

Robin Edge

Northumberland County Council

David Farnsworth

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Cllr Lesley Farrow

Petersfield Town Council

Louise Flavell

Braintree District Council

Cllr Tina Foster

Swanage Town Council

Cllr Jan Goffey

Okehampton Town Council

Cllr Simon Gomes-Da Costa

Downham Market Town Council

Dr Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins

Countryside and Community Research Institute

Holly Goring

Uckfield Town Council

Martin Gorringe

Defra

Alan Gray

North Kesteven District Council

David Hall

Northumberland County Council

Adrian Hamilton

Ryedale District Council

Jodie Hancock

Biddulph Town Council

David Hardy

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Michael Harris

New Forest District Council

Antonia Harrison

YMCA Lincolnshire

Cllr Lee Hatcher

Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council

Cllr Mervyn Head

North Kesteven District Council

Nicola Healy

Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils

Beth Heritage

Wealden District Council

Michael Hewitt

Cherwell District Council

Laura Higgins

Somerset West and Taunton Council

Cllr Stephen Hillier

West Sussex County & Mid Sussex District Councils

Christoper Hinchliff

CPRE, the countryside charity

Cllr Tony Hirons

Lutterworth Town Council

Ella Howman

South Norfolk and Broadland Councils

Dr Cllr Colin Hutchinson

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

David Inman

Rural Services Network

Gavin Iredale

Reed in Partnership

Wendy Jackson

Forest of Dean District Council

Nita Jarram

South Hams & West Devon Borough Councils

Claire Johnson

Devon County Council

Karla Johnson

Herefordshire Council

Liz Johnson-Idan

Chard Town Council

Will Jones

Dartmoor NPA

Dr Andrew Jordan

Wirksworth Town Council

Terry Jordan

Wisbech Town Council

Amine Kabouchi

West Oxfordshire District Council

Cllr Simon Leney

Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council

John Longden

Pub is The Hub

Rachel Lovett

Northumberland County Council

Emily Lowe

Herefordshire Council

Martyne Manning

Stafford Borough Council

Toby Matthews

Norfolk County Council

Emily McMonagle

Lincolnshire County Council

Guy McQueen

Lewes District & Eastbourne Borough Councils

Cllr Paul Andrew Milner

Petersfield Town Council

Cllr Terence Moore

Great Dunmow Town Council

Yvonne Morland

Tandridge District Council

Caitlin Murray

Cornwall Council

Cllr Julie Najuk

Gedling Borough Council

Janet Neale

Warwickshire County Council

Lynne Nicholl

Alzheimer's Society

Cllr Liz Parker

Oxted Parish Council

Sue Petters

Barnstaple Town Council

Amanda Phillips

United Utilities

Emma Phillips

West Oxfordshire District Council

Jeff Pyrah

Rother District Council

Nicola Radford

Lincolnshire County Council

Steven Robson

Northumberland County Council

Ally Rood

Stroud Town Council

Vanessa Saunders

Holsworthy Town Council

Cllr Jeremy Savage

South Norfolk District Council

Melanie Sealey

Devon County Council

Beth Searle

Corsham Town Council

Cllr Richard Sherras

Ribble Valley Borough Council

Clair Shields

North York Moors NPA

Emma Smith

Shropshire Council

Emma-Jane Snowden

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Katherine Stanley

West Northamptonshire Council

Graham Swiss

South Hams District Council & West Devon Borough Council

Cllr John Toye

North Norfolk District Council

Cllr Alison Trenery

Uttoxeter Town Council

Carole Troake

Harborough District Council

Steve Trotter

Lechlade on Thames Town Council

Nadine Trout

Rural Services Network

Martin Tucker

Wotton Under Edge Town Council

Anita Turner

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Deborah Urch

Westbury Town Council

Alex Ward

InvestSK/South Kesteven District Council

Catherine Weldon

Cumbria County Council

Cllr Amy Wheelton

South Derbyshire District Council

Susan White

Richmondshire District Council

Cllr Warren Whyte

Buckingham Town Council

Cllr Ryan Wills

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Cllr Liz Withington

North Norfolk District Council

Emma Wray

Wealden District Council

Cllr Julie Yelland

West Devon Borough Council


Apologies:

Full Name

Organisation

Cllr Georgina Allen

Totnes Town Council

Tony Allen

Peacehaven Town Council

Jennie Atherton

Harrogate Borough Council

Cllr Philip Atkins

Staffordshire County Council

Emma Baker

Oundle Town Council

Andy Bates

South Hams and West Devon Council

Cllr Francis Beatty

Stafford Borough Council

Miranda Beavers

South Kesteven District Council

Jane Berni

YMCA Community Lincs

Mandie Berry

North Somerset Council

Penny Body

Devon Churches Rural Forum

Ollie Boulter

Isle of Wight Council

Cllr Melanie Bridgen

South Derbyshire District Council

Cllr Steve Bridger

North Somerset Council

Louisa Brinton

Teignbridge District Council

Ruth Buckley Salmon

National Federation of Subpostmasters

Cllr Stephen Bunney

West Lindsey District Council

Nigel Burch

South Holland District Council

Cllr Alan Burgis

Camelford Town Council

Dr. Ian Cass

The Forum of British Pubs

Cllr Alan Chantler

West Northamptonshire Council

Karen Chapman

Great Torrington Town Council

Cllr Gill Clayton

Great Torrington Town Council

Jane Coleman

Maldon Town Council

Aaron Corsi

Warwickshire County Council

Cllr Richard Cox

Lichfield District Council

Cllr Caroline Cross

Irthlingborough Town Council

Cllr Wendy Croucher

Hunstanton Town Council

Maya Cullen

East Herts District Council

Cllr Sharon Cullingford

Gillingham Town Council

Stephen Davies

Castor Parish Council

Nicola Doble

South Somerset District Council

Chris Drake

Launceston Town Council

Rose Dugard

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council

Cllr Janet Duncton

West Sussex County Council

Cllr James Easter

South Norfolk Council

Shannon English

East Suffolk Council

Steve Evans

North Yorkshire County Council

Cllr Jane Evison

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Eleanor Farrell

Cumbria County Council

Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers

South Oxfordshire District Council

Cllr Caroline Finch

Swanage Town Council

Simon Fletcher

Lichfield District Council

Susan Fryer

Eden District Council

Cllr Margaret Gateley

Buckingham Town Council

Odette Ghent

Atherstone Town Council

Jo Giles

Cadent Ltd

Genevieve Gillies

Harrogate Borough Council

Jessica Goodfellow

Eden District Council

Carol Grey

Penrith Town Council

Cllr Lyn Harris

Southwell Town Council

Jonathan Harris

Cumbria County Council

Frances Harris

Northamptonshire ACRE

Helen Harris

Leicestershire County Council

Duncan Harvey

Sedgemoor District Council

Nik Harwood

Young Somerset

Alison Hayward

East Devon District Council

Lizzi Hearn

CPRE

Cllr Joan Heaton

Launceston Town Council

Cllr Robert Heseltine

North Yorkshire County Council

Claire Holt

Durham County Council

Lisa Hughes

Newark and Sherwood District Council

Marie-Ann Jackson

North Yorkshire County Council

Nick Johnson

Norfolk County Council

Matt Jones

Suffolk County Council

Sarah Jones

Shropshire Council

Katie Judge

Solihull Council

Cllr Margaret King

St. Ives Town Council (Cambs)

Cllr Phil King

Harborough District Council

Kirsty Larkins

South Somerset District Council

Caroline Leet

Edenbridge Town Council

Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council

Jo Martin

Rural Business Network

Cllr Richard Meredith

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Adam Milner

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Ian Morrell

No 65 High Street - Digital Health Hub

Dr Rob Murray

East Devon District Council

Mike Napper

Cotswold District Council

Cllr Jonathan Noble

Boston Borough Council

Keli Nolan-Lyons

Tenterden Town Council

Cllr Emily O'Brien

Lewes District Council

Leigh Palmer

Lewes and Eastbourne Councils

Abi Player

Richmondshire District Council

David Pooley

St Austell Town Council

Hilary Porter

Nottinghamshire County Council

Pam Posnett

Leicestershire County Council

Sylvia Pringle

Northumberland County Council

Julia Raven

South Northamptonshire Council

Julia Raven

West Northamptonshire Council

Cllr David Roach

West Suffolk District Council

Cllr Lynda Robertson

Midsomer Norton Town Council

Cllr Richard Robertson

Midsomer Norton Town Council

Cllr Christopher Ryley

Burscough Parish Council

Ian Kenneth Sherriff

University of Plymouth

Ron Simpson BEM

Uppingham Town Council

Anne Solomon

Stratford District Council

Katherine Southwood

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Tom Stanyard

North West Leicestershire District Council

Cllr Peter Stevens

West Suffolk Council

Sharon Thomas

Corsham Town Council

Cllr Michael Thompson

St Austell Town Council

Charles Thornton

Eden District Council

Cllr Mark Thorpe

Verwood Town Council

Rachael Tooth

Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils

Andy Tordoff

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Cllr Sarah Wakefield

Somerset West and Taunton Council

Karen Wakefield

Ollerton & Boughton Town Council

Cllr Norman Webster

Mid Sussex District Council

Cllr Jackie Westrop

Downham Market Parish Council

Clare Wilkins

Peak District National Park

Claire Windridge

Faversham Town Council

Cllr Mark Winnington

Staffordshire County Council

Helen Wright

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

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