The full text of the letter can be read below:
Dear Prime Minister
RE-ENERGISING RURAL ENGLAND
May we congratulate and welcome you on your appointment as Prime Minister. The members of our four organisations are drawn from across rural England and, although our particular perspectives may differ, we share a common interest in achieving and sustaining a living, working and thriving countryside.
We have been much encouraged at your commitments to ensure every household has access to full-fibre; to addressing the inequalities in funding for schools; and in tackling the major issue of social care, particularly for the elderly. These issues are of particular concern to the people who live and work in rural England. But there are also other issues which affect the well-being of rural communities and rural businesses and prevent them from contributing fully to the national good. That is why our organisations, supported by many others, have led the call for a comprehensive rural strategy which will tackle the issues of the severe lack of affordable housing, patchy connectivity, lack of skills, piecemeal delivery, inadequate and unequal funding and poor rural proofing of policy. More importantly, it should set out a framework for unlocking the full potential and energy of rural England.
We are keen to work with your Government on developing such a strategy and, more widely, on helping to ensure that the rural voice is heard and taken into account as policies and delivery programmes are developed. Our members have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to be drawn on.
We very much look forward to working with you. We are writing separately to Teresa Villiers, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in her capacity as lead Minister for rural policy, and are also copying this letter to her.
Councillor Cecilia Motley, Chair, Rural Services Network (RSN)
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