RSN, which is a Special Interest Group of the Local Government Association and a membership organisation that works to champion rural services, has already established a Rural Market Town Group which brings together rural/market towns to enable them to specifically network and share best practice. Already there are some 200 rural town councils involved.
The Rural Market Town Group is a subgroup of RSN and brings together and local (parish and town) councils in rural/market town areas, into a specific group to underline the important role they play in rural life, and their potential in the future.
NALC has now added its backing to the initiative as part of its own drive to connect councils and councillors from across the country through a series of national networks. These include networks for types of councils and on specific themes as well as for different groups of councillors.
Cllr Keith Steven, chair, NALC, said:
“I welcome the Rural Services Network initiative to form a Rural Market Towns Group RMTG across England and I am delighted that our two important national organisations have agreed to expand our existing relationship by working together to better support market towns.
“It is vital that rural areas and their towns have a strong voice to ensure policy and decision making considers the specific needs and characteristics of these particular rural communities. By NALC and RSN working together in this way, we can better understand the key issues that these towns face, and more effectively promote and represent them and their issues including at a national level. From 1 April, local councils in membership of NALC can receive a discount on the RMTG subscription fee and I would encourage councils to consider joining.”
Graham Briggs, Chief Executive of the RSN, said:
“English rural areas and the rural towns who serve them need consideration and levelling up as well as individual urban areas. They and those who reside in them have continually been overlooked by successive governments. This initiative looks to provide the much-needed focus to the rural and market towns that form the very spine of the country.
“We need to come together if we are to make our case and go forward. This initiative also allows the opportunity for joint working and discussion between similar towns and that will also prove beneficial to all who join it. We are delighted to work with NALC on this initiative, thus harnesses the complementary strengths of our two national organisations with a specific focus on rural market towns. This initiative is very much in the overall community interest of those people living and working in these towns and of their elected representatives at town level”.
Local councils interested in being involved in this initiative and joining the group should email firstname.lastname@example.org and state where you are in membership of NALC to claim the 15% discount.
More information on the Rural Market Towns Group is here.
More information on NALC’s National Networks is here.
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