NALC attends the Rural Insight Forum meeting


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) attended the Rural Insight Forum meeting on 23 June 2023, which focused on the government’s recent policy paper supporting growth and prosperity in rural areas.

The Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) convened the assembly and presented its policy paper, Unleashing rural opportunity. The policy paper sets out the government’s plan to bolster development and success in the countryside and unleash rural opportunity based on four broad priorities that they have identified as crucial for rural areas to thrive. These four priorities are growing the rural economy, digital connectivity and access to transport, homes and energy, and communities.  

Some of the plans laid out in the policy include funding improvements to village halls to help rural communities retain locally accessible hubs for essential service delivery, funding a network of Rural Housing Enablers across England with £2.5 million, and introducing the Great British Insulation Scheme to provide support for low-income and vulnerable households in receipt of means-tested benefits with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D-G.  

The forum also delved into the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, a piece of legislation currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Select Committee. The Rural Insight Forum members expressed their support for the bill while identifying areas where improvements could be made. 

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