Fairer funding call for rural communities

27 Apr 00
The Rural Services Partnership has called on the government to acknowledge the hidden costs of providing services in country communities.

28 April 2000

The group, which represents 70 rural councils, said the conviction of farmer Tony Martin for murdering a burglar had heightened concerns about poor public services, such as policing, in rural areas and highlighted the need for a fairer system of funding.

The report's author, consultant Rita Hale, said the grant system needed to be fair and simple. 'I believe that ministers should revisit the important question of what it costs small rural authorities to provide the basic democratic and administrative infrastructure required regardless of the population of an area. This will often consume a big chunk of a small country council's budget.'

Cllr Steven Pugsley, chairman of the group, said that successive reports had shown that people in the countryside had lower standards of public service than elsewhere.


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