Rural Related Politics - An RSN weekly review

6 July 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 
(29 June - 5 July)

On Monday 29th June, Mr Alistair Carmichael (LD) tabled a debate to ask the Government what discussions have been had on the potential merits of providing extended income support for people in seasonal industries.

On Tuesday 30th June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced reforms to the planning system, giving greater freedom for buildings and land in town centres to change use without planning permission and create new homes from the regeneration of vacant and redundant buildings. Included in the announcements were £900 million for a range of ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects in England over the course of this year and next, as well as £96 million to accelerate investment in town centres and high streets through the Towns Fund this year. The changes, which are planned to come into effect by September through changes to the law, will support the high street revival by allowing empty commercial properties to be repurposed and reduce the pressure to build on green field land by making brownfield development easier.

On Thursday 2nd July, during Business Questions, Fay Jones MP (Con) asked for a debate on the economic recovery in rural areas. Also on Thursday, the full version of the Countryside Code was reinstated.

On Friday 3rd July, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson issued a statement on the Government’s plans for all pupils to return to schools, colleges, nurseries and other education settings in September. He confirmed that exams are expected to go ahead as normal in summer 2021.  Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced that from 10th July, people will be able to travel to countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy, without having to self-isolate on return to England.

On Saturday 4th July, the Government updated its advice on accessing green spaces safely, including advice that it is now safe to meet in groups of:

  • up to two households (a support bubble counts as one household), indoors or outdoors
  • up to six people from different households, outdoors.

This week in politics (6 July - 12 July)
  • On Monday 6th July there will be an adjournment on policing in Devon and Cornwall with Steve Double MP (Con).
  • On Tuesday 7th July, in the House of Lords, there will be a debate on the financial stability of local government in England in the light of the additional costs incurred, and income lost, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with Lord Kennedy of Southwark. Also on Tuesday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Devolution will meet to discuss with parliamentarians the work that local government – both councils and combined authorities – are doing to deliver regarding skills and employment programmes, and how devolution in this area could help secure a green economic recovery.
  • On Wednesday 7th July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will make a financial statement in the House of Commons.

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