Rural Coalition - an introduction
Following the publication of Matthew Taylor MP's report "A living working countryside" in July 2008, the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) pulled together a group of organisations to form the Rural Coalition.
The Rural Coalition members are:
Matthew Taylor (Peer) - Chairman of Rural Coalition
Sue Chalkley – Chief Executive Association for Communities in Rural England
Neil Sinden – Director of Policy and Campaigns Campaign to Protect Rural England
Fenella Collins – Head of Planning CLA
Martin Wheatley, Programme Director – Environment and Planning and link to Rural Commission, Local Government Group
Matt Thompson, Head of Policy and Practice Royal Town Planning Institute
Fiona Mannion, Senior Policy Officer Town and County Planning Association
Secretariat and report writing has been provided by the Commission for Rural Communities and the following have been fully involved:
Trevor Cherrett – Rural Places (largely written the final report)
Sarah McAdam – Chief Executive
Other organisations on the periphery but who have provided valuable assistance include:
Richard Simmons, Chief Executive Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
The purpose of the Rural Coalition was to work together on taking forward the recommendations made in the original report. Matthew Taylor (now Lord Taylor – he stepped down at last election as MP for Truro & St Austell) was asked to chair the Rural Coalition. Under his chairmanship, the Rural Coalition set out to write a report that provides the new Government with a set of implementable policies that, we believe, would ensure thriving rural communities.
The CLA has been an active participant in the Rural Coalition report process since 2008.
It was never going to be easy to get five such disparate organisations to agree wholeheartedly with the content of a report of this nature, and we have all had to make compromises over its content. We should pay tribute to Matthew Taylor for keeping all organisations on board and for steering a path through our divergent views.
This report demonstrates the strength of feeling that exists amongst Rural Coalition members that surely must show the Government the importance with which we take the future long-term sustainability of rural businesses and communities.
The CLA is very happy to support the spirit/principle of the final report, but we will continue to lobby separately for important matters that have not made it into the report, for example, cross-subsidy on rural exception sites, tax incentives for landowners who provide affordable rural housing, and a review of the restrictive rural policies in PPS4 'Planning for sustainable economic growth' which need to be relaxed if we are to fulfil the report’s recommendations for thriving rural economies.
The CLA provided a great deal of material for the report including six CLA member case studies. We are very pleased that two of these have been included in the report under Challenge 2 available here, and all six CLA case studies are available here.
But the CLA’s work is not yet finished – we will be working with Rural Coalition partners on the recommendations and commitments made in the report and lobbying separately on those matters mentioned above, and others, which are important for CLA members’ rural businesses.
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Fenella Collins MRICS
A chartered surveyor with responsibility for CLA planning policy and regulatory matters. Advises on planning policy and regulation at national and local levels, and the community infrastructure levy.
T: 020 7460 7936
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