COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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Communities

Britain’s countryside was created and is characterised by its strong rural communities, and the Countryside Alliance is campaigning hard to ensure their future. Any number of issues threaten their survival, and we lobby to ensure that any legislation passed promotes a sustainable countryside for both those who live in rural areas and those who visit them. In this section you can read about various topical issues of interest to rural communities from policing to broadband, 4G, planning and affordable housing.

Communities:

Protocol for rural bank closures welcomed by Countryside Alliance

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the announcement today (26 March), by the Business Secretary Vince Cable, that the major high street banks, consumer groups and the government have signed up to an agreement to work with customers and communities to minimise the impact of branch closures and put in place alternative banking services.

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“Fly-grazing Bill” is passed

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Legislation that makes it easier for land owners, local authorities and welfare charities to take action over dumped and fly-grazed horses has been passed.
The Control of Horses Bill was given its Third Reading today, 18 March, and will become law before the General Election.

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Universal postal service is essential to the countryside, says Alliance

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance welcomes today’s report (12 March) from the BIS Select Committee on Competition in the postal services sector and the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and its recognition that the USO is an “essential service” that needs to be protected by Ofcom.
As our submission outlined, the USO plays an important role in rural communities and if it was scrapped could lead to unfair costs being placed on rural businesses and an increase in social isolation. This is why we fully support the call from the Committee seeking reassurance from Ofcom that they are able to take swift action to protect the USO.

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Major review of UK digital communications markets a welcome move

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance welcomes a major review of the UK’s digital communications markets, announced today (12 March) by Ofcom. Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “This review is the first in a decade. The Alliance has long been concerned that the current market creates a communications monopoly which is not good for competition and is failing to deliver the ambitions of this government to be a world leader in digital connectivity.

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NatWest everywoman Award winner on encouraging rural businesswomen

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

In late 2013 Mandy Scott, Managing Director of AA Flags, the international bespoke flag manufacturers based in County Durham, won the NatWest everywoman rural award, which the Countryside Alliance supports. We have spoken to Mandy about what the experience has meant, how business is going and why other female rural entrepreneurs should put themselves forward for this prestigious scheme. You will be able to read more about the Awards in our forthcoming Spring magazine.

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 Innovative broadband pilots are a good first step, says Countryside Alliance

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Countryside Alliance (CA) welcomes the Government’s confirmation today (9 February 2015) that seven pilot projects are on track to bring superfast broadband to the most difficult to connect communities in the UK.

The Government aims to provide  speeds of 24Mbps to 95% of the UK by 2017 and two million more homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband than had two years ago.

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Natural England's coastal path update for January 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015

Natural England has published an England Coast Path Update this month, showing stakeholders progress on each of the coastal stretches currently being worked on in England. Natural England welcomes feedback on 0300 060 0113 or via email to cynthia.cozier@naturalengland.org.uk

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Fuel tax rebates for 17 areas ‘a big relief for rural drivers’ says Alliance

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Countryside Alliance is delighted that petrol prices could become more affordable in 17 of the UK’s most rural communities.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced today (15 January) that the European Parliament has approved plans for a fuel tax rebate at filling stations in 17 areas across the Scottish Highlands and Argyll and Bute and in Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Devon.
Garages in these areas will be able to claim back up to 5p per litre in fuel duty, allowing them to drop the price of their fuel.

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Rural communities £130 a head worse off under Government funding

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Countryside Alliance supports the Rural Fair Share Group’s campaign for equal funding for local authorities in rural and urban areas. The group of MPs today (14 January) lobbied Treasury Minister Priti Patel, drawing her attention to inequalities in Government funding, which mean local authorities in rural areas will receive £130 less per head than those in towns and cities in 2015/16. The issue of equal funding for the countryside is part of the Countryside Alliance manifesto for the General Election.

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Fly-grazing Bill passes Committee Stage

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Control of Horses Bill, which aims to combat the animal welfare crisis of fly-grazing, today passed its Committee Stage in 40 minutes. We hope that the Bill, which is the Private Members' Bill tabled by Julian Sturdy MP, will become law before the end of this Parliament. The Countryside Alliance has been working in coalition with a range of animal welfare and farmer/ landowner organisations to highlight the fly-grazing crisis, including World Horse Welfare.

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