Clause 17 - Commission for Rural Communities

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping Labour, Sherwood 9:30 am, 23rd June 2005

I do not dispute for a minute the fact that there are problems in rural areas and rural communities. I represent a constituency with a large rural element. However, there is a danger of talking rural areas down. It is fascinating that when we talk to residents throughout the country, they say that they want to move from urban to rural areas—that is the direction of travel. The growth of the population is in rural areas: people believe that there is a better future there. The rate of unemployment is lower and the rate of economic growth is higher in rural areas, so the notion that they are a wasteland is just not true.