Published: 23rd Mar 2018

Picture: Cliff Donaldson Rural communities are being failed by central government, according to a new report out today. The report by the select committee on the national environment and rural communities act 2006 claims cutbacks to various Whitehall departments and public bodies has had a ‘profound’ and ‘negative’ impact on the biodiversity, environment and social and economic welfare of rural areas. In particular, the report calls for the responsibility for rural affairs to be transferred from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. ‘Responsibility for rural policy and rural communities does not sit well within Defra, with the department being predominantly focused upon the important environment, agriculture and food elements of its remit,’ the report states. ‘This focus will intensify as a result of Brexit. ‘This change would ensure that responsibility for rural communities sits … (To read the full article, subscribe below)