Putting the people of coast and country at the centre of decision-making.

I have lived in Hampshire for a large portion of my life and worked in a local authority in a predominantly rural county, so have seen first hand the kinds of unique issues people face when living in the countryside – particularly when they are also dealing with challenging life circumstances such as unemployment, disability…

What Labour could do for Coast & Countryside Communities

With the General Election campaign emerging from the festive break every Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) is rightly concerned with building on their exposure and contact rate in each and every constituency across the UK. For those fighting non-urban seats – be that the 30+ marginals we need to hold or win for a majority, the…

Off the Beaten Tracks

A recent study by Labour has warned that more than 30 million miles of bus journeys have been lost to cuts, leaving many people and communities isolated. And it is Britain’s rural areas that are hit worst. The Labour frontbench’s excellent new shadow secretary of state for transport, Michael Dugher, claims that vital rural routes…

What does Labour need to do to win the rural vote?

How will Labour win the rural vote? I’ll some it up in three words: policy, process, and people! People with passion for the rural, for the countryside and coastal communities which help define this island nation. But first of all, we must be clear on what we mean by the “rural vote”. That really matters!…

Devolution, Localism and Representing the Coast & Country…. Conference Diary 2014

Today, the devolution debate continues, though often now in the guise of localism, and how labour will deliver that localism for the people of Britain. At the LGA fringe, Deborah Mattinson, founder of the polling organization Britainthinks, highlighted the need to think of people beyond any demographic category – their interests and needs are more…

Rural Revolution Required

At the NPF on the 19th July, Ed Miliband announced that Labour will develop and launch a ‘Non-Urban’ Manifesto for the 2015 General Election. This presents Labour with a tremendous opportunity to lay out a progressive vision of a non-urban Britain that is prosperous, fair and vibrant. As such, this manifesto must focus on youth. Up…

The Rural Road Network

The Government recently announced the launch of a £168 million ‘Pothole Fund’ which will provide councils with funds to address the UK’s deteriorating roads. While investment in infrastructure is always welcome this figure is far outweighed by the savage cuts that have had to have been forced on highways maintenance budgets. The LGA labelled this…