The government has published its response to a review looking at how ‘rural proofed’ policy-making is.
Recommendations include sharing more statistics, improving guidance on rural proofing, and involving more ministers in rural priority issues, such as housing and broadband.
The move to more fully consider countryside impacts comes in response to a Review of Rural Proofing led by Lord Cameron of Dillington, which published its report last January.
The idea is that government departments should take into account the specific issues faced by rural communities, ensure public services are accessible and appropriate and seek to boost the rural economy.
The Cabinet office will oversee implementation of new measures, which will otherwise be led by Defra. It will appoint a rural ambassador and develop an online portal to share information, including on the delivery of rural proofing.
The NFU has welcomed a long overdue move to ensure rural issues are at the heart of government decision-making. We emphasise that this should include the farming economy and farm communities.