MPs made patrons of rural campaign

A NUMBER of MPs have been made parliamentary patrons of the Rural Fair Share campaign.

The campaign brings together MPs from all parties, along with organisations, community groups, and individuals concerned about the welfare of rural communities.

Parliamentary patrons include Tim Farron (South Lakes), Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), James Gray (North Wiltshire), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) and Andrew Percy (Brigg & Goole).

The campaign is being chaired by Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) alongside Labour MP Tony Cunningham (Workington), and Tory MP Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness).

All are seen as champions for Rural Communities.

Mr Farron said: "Rural areas like ours in Cumbria tend to be good stewards of public funds and make do with what is offered."

"This has sometimes been used as an excuse by London based civil servants to provide us with less funding. I am fighting to end that.

"In tough times it is essential that we move to a fairer allocation of limited public resources that give rural areas the resources we need."

Mr Soames said: “The Rural Fair Share campaign supports impartial, objective, needs based policy which is equitable to all.

"It will also help MPs who represent the countryside to do a better job of making our case about the needs of rural areas.”

According to a report by the Rural Services Network, rural residents earn less than those in cities but pay council tax which is £100 higher per head.

Urban areas also receive government grants 50% higher per head than those in the countryside.

This means people in the country earn less, pay higher council tax and then receive substantially less support for services.

Delivering services in sparse, rural areas also tends to be more expensive, which can add to the burden.


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