NALC attends the Rural Insight Forum meeting


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) attend the Rural Insight Forum meeting, held by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), on 26 May 2023.

Several reports were presented at the forum including the Rural Services Network’s rural household survey findings. The Rural Services Network, which is a membership organisation that champions for rural services, and they conducted the survey with Rural Issues Group of Citizens Advice to understand the impact of living crisis on households in rural areas.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee also presented their report of their inquiry into rural mental health. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report highlighted that the evidence available on rural mental health in England is insufficient. The report’s ten recommendations, which the government must respond to within two months, include creating a new creating a new cross-government rural mental health policy and delivery team, reviewing the Index of Multiple Deprivation, and creating a new levelling mission on young people’s mental health and wellbeing and youth services.

In addition to presenting reports, members of the forum shared their experiences of Rural England Prosperity Fund at the meeting. It was noted that many felt frustrated over the inconsistency of delivery by principal councils with limited external stakeholder engagement and monitoring.

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