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 Colin Breed Colin Breed Shadow Minister, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 9:30 am, 23rd June 2005

The hon. Gentleman is right about unemployment. Certainly unemployment in my rural areas has gone down, which is to be welcomed. Of course, that is partly because there are no jobs and the young people have moved away to find jobs and careers, often after they have been to university, and they have been replaced by an increasing number of retired people, who are not on the unemployment register. So, although the figures are right, we would like far more jobs to be made available in rural areas, so that when young people leave school or university, they can stay there to live and work. Unemployment rates have come down, but that has not addressed the employment problem.