Revitalising Rural – Rural Connectivity Day

The Rural Services Network is delighted to be taking bookings for our online National Rural Conference, Revitalising Rural

Taking place throughout the week from 14-18th September, with each day focusing on a different topic relevant to rural areas. This week we are concentrating on the second conference day, Tuesday 15th September which is Rural Connectivity Day! Kindly sponsored by NALC (National Association of Local Councils), the day will feature sessions that all members of the Rural Services Network can access for free. Book your place here!

Throughout the course of the week, we are providing a range of sessions to make you feel like you are at our normal conference

Rural Connectivity Day Plenary

The plenary session will feature one speaker

Ben Colson MBE, is the Chair of Bus Users UK. 

After fifty years active in the bus operating industry, Ben has been Chair of the trade association for smaller bus operators, mostly active in rural areas, and currently Bus Users, a registered charity whose aims to ensure that “everyone, wherever they are and whatever their needs may be, has access to the best possible transport links.” He is a parish council chairman in Norfolk and remains close to the local transport scene at national and county level. The last twenty years of his working life he owned his own bus company, Norfolk Green, the only SME rural operator ever to be judged winner of the prestigious Bus Operator of the Year award. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport he brings practical experience of operating and advocating.

Ben will be talking on the subject of:
Facts and Myths that help point the way forward for rural transport

Feature on Rural Connectivity

Also available on the day, will be a presentation by Nalc, our sponsor for the day featuring Councillor Sue Baxter (NALC Chairman) and Jonathan Owen (NALC Chief Executive) on the subject of:
Building Stronger Rural Communities

Click to view the biography for Cllr Baxter and Jonathan Owen here

The National Association of Local Council (NALC) represents England’s 10,000 local (parish and town) councils and their 100,000 local community leaders and councillors.  Their role has changed dramatically in the last few years reflected in a doubling of their yearly council tax share to £600m and they now contribute around £2billion in community investment.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on all our communities, and the test for the future is how we recover as a country and society, and how we rebuild our communities. Local councils were at the heart of the initial response to the pandemic and will play a vital role in the local leadership needed through the recovery and beyond.  NALC is calling for local councils to be at the centre of recovery planning and the new drive on devolution.

You can find out more about NALC at this link

Places are only available to organisations that are members of the Rural Services Network and can be booked at this link

If you are not a member and would like to find out more, please contact


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