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Britain’s countryside was created and is characterised by its strong rural communities, and the Countryside Alliance is campaigning hard to ensure their future. Any number of issues threaten their survival, and we lobby to ensure that any legislation passed promotes a sustainable countryside for both those who live in rural areas and those who visit them. In this section you can read about various topical issues of interest to rural communities from policing to broadband, 4G, planning and affordable housing.


Countryside Alliance calls for more services to be made available through the Post Office

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The retention of the Post Office Card Account, as announced today (16 December) by the Department of Work and Pensions, is an important lifeline for the rural elderly and those on benefits, says the Countryside Alliance.
Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee welcomed the move, which safeguards the service for seven years with a £250 million contract, adding that allowing access to more Government, local authority and banking services through Post Offices could provide a big boost to this vital network.

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Rural Businesswomen win big at the NatWest everywoman Awards

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dame Margarget Barbour of the world famous Barbour clothing company, the owner of a Scottish A road cafe and the founder of Yorkshire Provender soups were the winners with a rural edge at the NatWest everywoman Awards in London on 3rd December. Now in its 12th year, the NatWest everywoman Awards has become the defining event for Britain’s female entrepreneurs, celebrating the success of women-owned businesses across the country. Awards were handed out at a reception at the Dorchester in London on Wednesday 3rd December. The event was attended by some of Britain’s best known business owners including Awards Patron Dame Mary Perkins (Specsavers), Chrissie Rucker MBE (The White Company), Cath Kidston MBE and Amanda Wakeley OBE. The combined annual turnover of the businesses owned by women at the NatWest everywoman Awards was estimated to exceed £3 billion demonstrating the phenomenal ongoing contribution that female-run and -led business makes to the UK economy.

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Welcoming Ofcom’s review of the Universal Service Obligation

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Countryside Alliance welcomes Ofcom’s review of the sustainability of the Universal Service Obligation to ensure it does not become a victim of greater competition in the postal industry. The Countryside Alliance welcomes the review into the sustainability of the Universal Service Obligation, announced by Ofcom today (2 December), which will hopefully safeguard the six-day-a-week postal service to all parts of the UK for a uniform tariff. Ofcom will undertake a broad review of factors affecting Royal Mail’s ability to deliver the universal postal service, concluding next year. This will consider Royal Mail’s efficiency and its parcel delivery performance.

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The Alliance in the Telegraph: Rural postal service 'under threat'

Monday, 1 December 2014

On Monday 1st December, the Daily Telegraph reported" Britain’s postal service is under major threat in rural areas because private postal firms are cherry picking lucrative delivery contracts in towns and cities, campaigners have warned on Monday. They warned that “unfettered competition” was making threatening the universal postal service, which means that a letter or package can be delivered to 29 million addresses within the United Kingdom six days a week for the same price. The signatories to the letter – including Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance....said that the one price anywhere postal service was a “feature of a civilised society, where services meet all circumstances at all times”. Read the article here. Read the letter, "Universal post", here. Ensuring the Universal Service Obligation is part of our Election Manifesto - read that here.

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Independent Shale Gas Report published

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Government must protect the countryside and reassure the public over the exploration and development of shale oil and gas. Funding, oversight and research are needed to ensure that shale gas extraction does not cause irrevocable damage to the countryside and rural communities, says the Countryside Alliance. The Alliance has today (25 November) released an independent report into the potential impact of the exploitation of hydrocarbons from shale in the UK and has come up with five recommendations as to how the Government can ensure that operators maintain best practices and that environmentally sensitive areas are not exposed to unnecessary risk.

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EFRA committee support for fly-grazing bill welcomed by Countryside Alliance

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the Government Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee’s support for proposed changes in the law to tackle the illegal fly-grazing of horses.

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Mobile roaming is welcome but is not the full solution, says Countryside Alliance

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the Government’s announcement today that it is taking further action to tackle mobile phone “not-spots” around the country. However we are concerned that a focus on promoting national roaming will not tackle the root problem – the need to reform regulations surrounding mobile phone infrastructure.
Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to improving rural connectivity and we support its ongoing dialogue with the industry. The proposal to encourage infrastructure sharing is a positive step towards better coverage in the countryside and will ensure that rural communities are connected more quickly.

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Countryside Alliance calls on the Government to address fly-tipping blight

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the annual release of fly-tipping figures from Defra today (30 October) which enables us to see the true picture of this problem. With a 20% increase of fly-tipping on public land last year, and a cost to the public purse that has increased by 24% to £45.2m, it is clearly time to put a stop to this crime.

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Approval of Control of Horses Bill is a great step forward for horse welfare

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the passing of the Control of Horses Bill at its second reading today (24 October) in the House of Commons, hailing it a great step forward for horse welfare and landowners’ rights.
The Bill, tabled by the Member of Parliament for York Outer Julian Sturdy, will now continue to Committee Stage, where it will be examined in detail by a panel of MPs.

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Chief Constable Simon Prince writes exclusively for our magazine on rural crime

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chief Constable Simon Prince of Dyfed-Powys police is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on wildlife and rural crime. He has written exclusively for our Autumn magazine about rural crime and working together to tackle it through initiatives such as Farmwatch and via the National Rural Crime Network, of which the Countryside Alliance is a part. Read "Working together to bring down rural crime" here.

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