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Online evidence hub will help almost ten million people in English countryside

Staff writer |
UK government response to review of rural proofing implementation carried out by an independent team led by Lord Cameron of Dillington.

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The government’s response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing has been published.

Defra will be bringing together rural evidence and statistics from government departments and the Office for National Statistics to ensure policies deliver for families and businesses based in the countryside.

The move is part of a series of measures announced in the government’s response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing which will make sure the needs of people living in rural areas are taken properly into account in decision making, and that its residents are given the same opportunities as those based in cities.

By ensuring government departments fully understand rural issues, we are able to better protect the services delivered for rural communities, as well as boosting productivity in the countryside.

An online evidence hub, announced by the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, will help the almost ten million people who live in the English countryside by providing crucial insight, such as the fact that flexible, home-working is more prevalent in rural than in urban areas, and tends to involve higher skilled, higher wage roles.

Along with making evidence more freely available, other measures to boost productivity and increase opportunities in rural areas in the response to the Lord Cameron Review today include:

a new ‘rural ambassador’ role operating across government departments

ministers representing rural issues on ‘task forces’ which operate across government on identified priority issues including housing and broadband

the development of improved guidance on ‘rural proofing’ and sharing research and evidence expertise to ensure rural needs are considered in the development of all policies

a Cabinet Office led oversight for rural proofing across government.

Commenting on the government’s response to Lord Cameron’s recommendations on rural proofing, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "Lord Cameron’s report is clear. Rural proofing means all government departments making rural issues a core policy consideration.

"That’s why we are putting new rural proofing guidance, evidence and oversight in place and why Defra’s Ministers will continue to champion rural communities across government.

"We are working to ensure people living in rural areas have access to the same opportunities as those in towns and cities."

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