Winning the Rural Vote: The Imperative for Fair Funding

Last month's launch of the Winning The Rural Vote campaign in parliament marked a significant step forward in the push for equitable resource distribution to rural areas. As a general election approaches, the campaign is underlining the critical necessity of fair funding as a fundamental element for the flourishing and sustainable growth of rural communities.

Central to our campaign is the pressing demand for Rural Fair Funding, which spearheads our detailed eight-chapter strategy. The Rural Services Network leads this charge, highlighting the glaring funding disparities between urban and rural regions, particularly through the Local Government Finance Settlement. This campaign seeks to address and correct the longstanding unequal resource allocation that has historically placed rural areas at a disadvantage.

Exploring Fair Funding Further

Rural communities are uniquely challenged, suffering from inadequate funding that negatively affects crucial services such as social care, education, healthcare, infrastructure, and the local economy. Despite having a population larger than Greater London, rural regions receive significantly less funding per head, exacerbating the challenge of service delivery due to the elevated costs associated with rural locations.

Urban councils currently receive 38% more in Government Funded Spending Power per head compared to rural councils. As a result of years of underfunding, rural councils have had to raise council tax to balance the books resulting in rural residents now paying on average 20% more per head than urban residents. This imbalance in funding not only puts rural residents and businesses at a significant disadvantage but also threatens their future viability and growth.

Advocating for policy changes, the Fair Funding chapter demands acknowledgment of the extra costs tied to providing services in rural areas and outlines a strategic plan for attaining fair funding. It serves as a rallying cry for governmental action to eliminate these inequities and bolster rural communities.

A Call to Action

The triumph of this campaign relies on both political and community backing, spotlighting the united effort needed to enact meaningful change. Through collective support, our goal is to cultivate a sustainable and thriving future for rural areas, ensuring they are equitably considered in the distribution of resources.

The Winning the Rural Vote campaign is not only focused on garnering the rural vote but also on ensuring rural areas receive the funding essential for their sustainable growth. We know that resources are limited, but at times of austerity it is even more important to ensure that they are allocated fairly.  By advocating for fair resource distribution and collaborating with MPs and member organisations to elevate rural concerns in policy debates, the campaign seeks to address the unique challenges of rural life and secure a funding model that reflects its distinct costs. This unified effort is crucial for promoting a brighter, equitable future and overcoming the obstacles faced by rural communities.

Click on the chapters below to explore more context and data that bolster the Winning The Rural Vote campaign's requests

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