Rural Related Politics - an RSN weekly review

13 Januray 2020

Below is an RSN review of last week's rural related politics as well as a look forward to the week ahead:


Last week in politics 
(06 Januray - 12January)

On 19 December 2019, Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con) asked Rebecca Pow MP (Con), Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to help farmers tackle fly-tipping. Pow said on 7 January 2020 that her Department chairs the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG) and is working with landowners across England to increase the reporting of fly-tipping on private land. The NFTPG is developing a mobile smartphone and tablet app to collect data to better understand the extent of fly-tipping nationally, along with the type and geographical pattern of incidents. This will aid the investigation of incidents and help target enforcement.

On 7 January 2020, Matt Warman MP (Con) from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport answered James Cartlidge’s MP (Con) question on what plans the DCMS has for the roll-out of 5G in rural areas in Suffolk, by saying the Government remains committed to becoming a world leader in 5G and providing a 5G signal to a majority of the population by 2027. Two of the Phase 1 programmes funded through this scheme, 5GRIT and 5G RuralFirst, are specifically focussed on building a market for 5G use cases in rural areas. They are also providing funding for up to 10 rural-based 5G research and development projects over the next two years through the Rural Connected Communities initiative.

On 7 January 2020, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP (Con) answered Mark Menzies’ MP (Con) question on what fiscal steps he is taking to improve broadband connections in rural communities. Rishi Sunak said they want to deliver gigabit-capable broadband across the country as soon as possible. They have already committed over £1 billion to support the rollout of next-generation digital infrastructure, and, at Conference, the Chancellor announced an ambition to invest £5bn to support gigabit broadband rollout in the hardest to reach areas. They will set out further details of our approach in their National Infrastructure Strategy later this year.

On 8th January, Baroness Browning (Con) contributed to a debate on County Lines Drugs Gangs in the House of Lords. She said when we look at national solutions, what is very often needed in rural areas is a very different approach from when you are looking at large urban conurbations. There are pockets of deprivation in rural counties that reflect exactly what one sees in inner cities, but they are on such a small scale and so disparate that they never qualify for grants and support.

On 09 January 2020, Lord Inglewood (Non-Afl) contributed to a debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords. He said that many in rural Britain earn less than the equivalent of the living wage. Urban Britain often seems too happy to overlook those who work outside towns and that they have families and are real people too. He said that just as steps are being taken to invigorate the north, so similar measures must be taken for rural England—l’Angleterre profonde—and the rest of the UK, not for the sake of the countryside alone but in the best interests of the nation at large.

This week in politics (13 Januray - 19 January)

- On Monday 13th, the House of Lords will meet to discuss the impact on low-income families of the four-year freeze in working age and children’s benefits - Baroness Lister of Burtersett.

- The House of Commons will meet to discuss Housing, Communities and Local Government.

- On Tuesday 14th January Parliament will debate on Education and Local Government

- The APPG On Fair Business Banking will have their Inaugural meeting, hosted by the Co-chair and registered contact Kevin Hollinrake MP and the main secretariat contact is Heather Buchanan.

- On Wednesday 15th January, the APPG on Rural Health & Social Care will have their AGM

- The House of Lords will discuss the ensuring of safe staffing in social care and the NHS in this Parliament.

- On Thursday 16th January, The House of Lords will meet to discuss the completion of the England Coast Path.

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