Wednesday, 24 April 2019

"Rural inequality is not just a matter for rural dwellers."

There are huge problems around inequality in the countryside:
Futures Forum: Devon has among the lowest average salaries in the UK
Futures Forum: Rural poverty, rural immobility > "opportunities in rural areas are not as abundant for young people as they are in cities"
Futures Forum: How prevalent is income inequality in rural areas?

Here's an excellent piece looking with a fresh eye on things: 

Rural inequality is just a matter for rural people…

And by that logic, I guess it doesn’t need attention because it doesn’t affect the majority? Some people, and some areas, are disadvantaged, they don’t have facilities that people need.

Felicity Humphrey
07:00 April 16, 2019

But don’t fear, you can just move into an area that has facilities, like an over-crowded city.

But hang on, those areas are already quite full aren’t they?

Slowly pushing more people into them just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Housing is already tight, traffic is definitely an issue and jobs are so competitive. Surely keeping towns and cities the only serviced areas will only add to over populated, stressed, congested areas, seeing more traffic, more pollution, more congestion, out of reach house prices (London) more tiny flats, more HMOS, overcrowded schools, overcrowded hospitals…

*Takes a breath*

…whilst rural areas, that are underserviced are left to become beautiful ‘chocolate boxes’, with only the Bountys left.

They’re inhabited by retirees, seasonal visitors and even more seasonal ‘hospitality’ workers. It’s ludicrous because we’re crying out for more space – but who wants to live somewhere you can’t even get a last-minute toilet roll.

I’m not sure at all that it makes sense to force a huge population into just a few, overcrowded, urban areas.

Have you been on the tube at rush hour? Can you imagine if all aspects of life were that bad? If all the aisles in Tescos were like the tube and you had to squeeze and apologise your way through an obstacle course of bodies to get to the freezers, finally finding that they’re out of Aunt Bessie’s anyway?

Maybe I’m being dramatic, but maybe I’m not.

Right now only 17% of the population live in rural areas.

If we don’t have something in place to make sure those areas don’t get forgotten about, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to get worse, for both urban and rural people.

So how can we avoid this dystopian Armageddon?

Well, impassioned internet crowd, I’m glad you asked. We need a rural strategy.

We need one that all local and central government have a solid commitment to.

We need a rural strategy that places rural people at its centre, because they matter. And if we look after our rural areas, maybe some of the pressure on urban areas will ease as well.

Maybe if people can get education, jobs and houses in rural areas, they might want to live there, and we won’t all end up in living in London in Tokyo-style ‘mini-pods’.

The Government must articulate a high-level rural policy objective and it needs to be implemented across all of Whitehall, because nobody should be unreasonably disadvantaged by where they live.

It’s not good for rural people, and it’s not good for urban people.

Without a rural strategy we all lose.

24housing » Opinion » Rural inequality is just a matter for rural people…
Rural inequality is a matter for everyone - Rural Services Network

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