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A Rural Future - Time to Act

May 14, 2018 9:50 PM
Originally published by Breckland and South West Norfolk Liberal Democrats
Rural Future Policy Paper 129Even though 70% of Britain's land is given over to farming, rural communities are often ignored by politicians which is why we were delighted to see the Lib Dems approve a policy on Rural Communities at our national Spring Conference recently.
Whilst there is much to discuss about the impact of Brexit on farming - for example, up to 90% of farms will go bankrupt if "single farm payments" are removed - rural Britain is about much more than this.
Our vision for rural Britain is one where every community has the power and autonomy to be resilient, diverse and thriving.
Every village, hamlet and small town in Britain has a unique character that is worth preserving, and the role of Government should be to provide support where it's asked for through public services, infrastructure and investment, not just dictate from above.
This vision will need a series of measures to become a reality in many rural areas. We need to fund rural infrastructure properly, and ensure that it is fit for the future, invest in affordable housing, provide local communities with greater power to make decisions, support rural workers to develop more flexible skills and review agricultural policy so that support is targeted at smaller farms and efficient land management practices.