Clause 17 - Commission for Rural Communities

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping Labour, Sherwood 9:45 am, 23rd June 2005

But there has been a policy behind that, which has been decided by the Government. They took the view that they were not going to close small schools. That has nothing to do with local authorities; they were the delivery mechanism, but the policy was made centrally.

Let me give another example. Many Members in this Room were concerned about broadband, and the disadvantages that rural areas might face. However, the development of broadband has been absolutely tremendous. We have made more progress than I ever thought was possible. Yes, there are problems with rural post offices, but the Government are making available money for them to stay open; I know that the problem is tough, and we must find imaginative solutions to it, but they are being found.