We are still 'open for business' at the RSN with all of our staff working remotely to stay safe. We will still be delivering our services to our customers, although we're having a little think about how to best enable our usual face to face meetings and seminars.
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On Tuesday 11, the Government announced £142 million funding to widen bridges, build roads and connect utilities so that up to 8,500 new properties can be built. Elsewhere, Derek Thomas MP asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps it is taking to ensure that people can access post office services in rural areas. Responding on behalf of the Government, Kelly Tolhurst MP said that the Post Office delivered almost £10 million of investment via the community fund between 2014 and 2018 to facilitate rural community branches to invest in their retail businesses. Jim Shannon MP asked Tolhurst what steps were being taken to ensure free ATM services are retained in rural areas. She replied: ‘We already have a great deal for offering cashpoints in post offices with the Bank of Ireland. ?I hope to make sure that Post Office Ltd extends that service. We continue to campaign and talk to the Treasury to make sure that we still offer those cashpoint services.’
On Wednesday 12, Rural Services Network chief executive Graham Biggs gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on rural broadband.
On Thursday 13, MPs debated the provision of social housing. Matt Western MP raised the high demand for social housing in rural areas, and asked for a ‘rapid ramp up’ in council house provision in those areas.
On Monday 17, the Lords will debate the issue of children living in households where at least one adult is employed but still living in poverty.
On Tuesday 18, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will hear from Minister Rishi Sunak MP regarding local government finance and the 2019 Spending Review.
On Wednesday 19, the Treasury Committee will hear evidence on the impact of business rates on businesses.
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