Local charity echoes national calls on next government not to leave rural communities behind

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
This website uses cookies. You can read more about how we use your personal data in our Privacy Notice

Local charity echoes national calls on next government not to leave rural communities behind 

Community Action Norfolk, an infrastructure charity with a mission to build a stronger, fairer Norfolk is urging candidates standing in the general election across Norfolk not to forget the needs and circumstances of people living and working in the countryside. 

The charity, along with other members of the Action With Communities in Rural England (ACRE) Network, claims that for too long, the government has overlooked the challenges that rural residents face, including diminishing public services, inadequate infrastructure, and housing which has become increasingly unaffordable resulting in hidden poverty and ageing communities. 

Rik Martin, CEO of Community Action Norfolk said, “Approximately 637,000 people in Norfolk live in a rural community. But we get the impression policy makers in Westminster don’t properly understand or address the needs of people who live and work in the countryside around here. The people and groups we work with are starting to recognise this – from increasing social isolation to transport issues and the general reduction in rural services. 

Because of this we’re joining with our national body ACRE and other rural charities across England to say more needs to be done to close this gap, from creating a new statutory advisory body requiring government departments to appraise the impact of policies on rural dwellers, to funding more community-led housing, and supporting villages to develop plans so they can become more resilient to climate change.” 

ACRE, which represents charities such as Community Action Norfolk has set out a suite of policy recommendations for the next government which it hopes will trigger a debate about what it means and takes to represent rural communities in 2024. 

Rik Martin said, “We are passionate about creating a fairer Norfolk and hope to work with whoever is elected to represent rural communities across Norfolk to consider how these might be delivered in practice.”