Rural communities are a key part of the fabric of the British countryside, and are home to, and a place of work for, over 11 million people.
Residents of rural towns and villages across Britain do not have acceptable access to the most basic services, goods and amenities. They often have to travel longer distances for healthcare, petrol stations, financial services and shops; and pay a premium for basic essentials such as fuel for heating and transport. Furthermore, the shortfall in available housing to buy or rent is forcing local people out of the communities in which they work and in which they have often been brought up.
Rural services are the glue that holds rural communities together. An increasingly ageing population and lack of access to those services, whether due to limited public transport or lack of broadband, can lead to increasing levels of rural isolation.
The lack of services and support in rural communities is hugely damaging and the Countryside Alliance believes that more must be done to ensure the future of safe, vibrant and sustainable rural communities.