With the closing date for registrations looming (30 August 2019) book now to attend our National Rural Conference, (in association with the CCRI), in Cheltenham on 3rd & 4th September) here. The keynote speaker for the conference is the Rt Hon Lord Foster of Bath, Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy.

House of Lords inquiry into rural economy

A House of Lords committee is to investigate the challenges facing rural communities and the rural economy.

It follows the appointment by peers of an ad hoc select committee to consider and report on issues facing the countryside.

Committee chairman Lord Foster of Bath said: "There are around 9.4 million people living in rural areas of England whose businesses and services contributed an estimated £229 billion to England’s total economy in 2016.

"But the rural economy still suffers from a range of problems, including patchy infrastructure, expensive housing and limited services.

"The committee will be exploring how to help support rural economic growth while tackling these issues."

A private meeting of the committee will take place on Tuesday (19 June) with an oral evidence session due to take place at the Palace of Westminster on 3 July.

"The voices of those living in rural communities are vital to this inquiry, and the committee is planning to visit rural areas to learn more about their successes and challenges, and their ideas for the future."

Committee members comprise four Conservative peers, four Labour peers, two Liberal Democrat peers and two crossbench peers.

Peers say the rural economy has transformed over the years and is now dynamic and diverse, contributing substantial added value to the country as a whole as well as to rural residents.

Rural communities are also growing, with significant migration of all age groups from urban areas.

With these changes have come challenges, and there continues to be constraints on the growth of the rural economy, particularly in more remote areas.

This inquiry will explore these challenges in more detail and consider how they can be addressed.


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