Liberal Democrat rural spokesman Andrew George MP has recommended that the Government beefs up its plans for rural policy by keeping the body that acts as the ‘independent voice’ for rural communities. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been consulting on its plans for the future of the Commission for Rural Communities – the independent rural watchdog.
In a consultation submission to the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, Mr George says:
“A rural commission should exist to provide independent and objective advice on trends which are emerging in respect of the life and prospects of our rural communities and also represent and advocate on behalf of the weakest of the voices which exist in our rural communities.”
Mr George goes on to warn that without an independent rural voice:
“markets will, left to their own devices, continue the inexorable trend of turning our rural communities into the exclusive preserve of the better off.”
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