COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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Communities

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.

Communities:

Mobile phones are essential to modern rural life, study shows

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A study for Ofcom has revealed today (22 July) that good mobile phone reception and the ability to use your phone or tablet to access the internet are essential to modern rural life.
Respondents to the study said being able to contact the emergency services, keeping in touch with family and friends and being able to access information, education and entertainment were among the most important services they required.
This research backs up the Countryside Alliance’s assertion that good broadband and mobile phone services are as important to those who live in the countryside as water and energy.

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Fly grazing Parliamentary debate welcomed

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Countryside Alliance is among a powerful coalition of equine welfare charities and countryside organisations that has welcomed a parliamentary debate of solutions to the illegal fly grazing of horses through a Private Members Bill  which was launched in the House of Commons on Tuesday (15 July).
The Bill was introduced by Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer who has done a huge amount of work with local groups to help address this growing problem. Find out how you can help
Welfare charities estimate that in England alone at least 3,000 horses are being illegally grazed on public and private land without the permission of the landowner.

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National Rural Crime Network (NRCN)

Friday, 4 July 2014

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) has now been formally set up and has the support of 28 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). It is being chaired by the PCC from North Yorkshire, Julie Mulligan, and the Vice-Chair is Tim Passmore, PCC for Suffolk. The constitution allows six PCCs on the executive committee and four non PCC representatives. The Countryside Alliance is sitting on the Executive Committee as one of the four non PCC representatives. Over the summer we will be compiling a list of rural crime priorities which will shape the work programme of the Network. Fly-grazing, heritage crime and general anti-social behaviour are on that list and we would welcome your suggestions too. Please email policy@countryside-alliance.org raising any issues you feel the National Rural Crime Network should be prioritising.

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Fly Grazing – Can you help?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

There is now widespread recognition of a growing horse crisis in Britain. In particular the problem caused to owners of land by the fly grazing of horses. Not only is this potentially hugely expensive for those whose land is used for illegal grazing but it is also extremely damaging in terms of horse welfare. There is now agreement across a wide range of organisations including World Horse Welfare, the British Horse Society, NFU, CLA, RSPCA and the Countryside Alliance that action needs to be taken and various changes made to the law which would make it easier to tackle this problem in a way which protects horse welfare and reduces the cost to land owners and local authorities. So far DEFRA have argued that the existing law is adequate. We do not agree and the recent Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 is already showing what could be achieved in England. Read on to find out how you can help.

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Alliance has long called for national roaming for mobiles

Saturday, 21 June 2014

It was reported by the BBC on 21st June that "Mobile phone operators could be made to share their networks in rural areas of the UK where signals are weak under plans being considered by ministers. Some parts of rural Britain have just one or two of the main mobile phone networks available, or none at all, leaving some people without any signal.It is hoped so-called national roaming could be used to plug blackspots." Read the full story here. The Countryside Alliance has called for national roadming as one of several measures that could offer a fairer deal for mobile users in the countryside who pay the same as their urban counterparts but are hugely disadvantaged by poor service. Read our "Sick of no signal" report here.

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Countryside Alliance backs call to safeguard six-day postal service

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Countryside Alliance fully supports Royal Mail’s call, in its submission to Ofcom, for a review of the impact of competition in the postal delivery market.
Countryside Alliance head of policy, Sarah Lee, said: “The six day, one-price-goes-anywhere service that Royal Mail provides through the Universal Service Obligation is essential to those living and working in rural areas.

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Innovative broadband projects are the answer for hard to reach rural areas

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the announcement of the eight innovative projects which have been chosen by the Government to test alternative ways of boosting superfast broadband coverage in rural areas.
The ground-breaking projects chosen to be tested in the £10m Department of Culture Media and Sport initiative were revealed today (19 June). Click here to see list

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West Midlands Flight Path Protection Team - can you help?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Flight Path Protection team at Birmingham Airport has let us know it is seeking the help of local residents to protect the security of the flights paths. The team's PC Powell says: “People who live and work beneath the busy flight paths can be the extra eyes and ears to assist us in keeping flights in and out of the airport safe.

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Queen's Speech - our thoughts on the rural aspects

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

  The final Queen's speech of this Parliament took place on Wednesday 4th June. The Countryside Alliance examined the speech and sent a brief out to Parliamentartians, outlining our concerns and thoughts about the rural issues included in the speech, specifically measures to freeze fuel duty, the Infrastructure Bill and increasing housing supply. Read on for our topline comments or click here for our full brief.

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Daily postal service to all rural Britain must not be lost

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The stark warning by Royal Mail that increased competition in the mail delivery market could threaten the Universal Service Obligation (USO), means that mail services to rural areas could be under threat says the Countryside Alliance.
The current regulatory environment allows competitors to ‘cherry pick’ the most densely populated and therefore most profitable areas to deliver threatening the financial sustainability of the USO that many rural communities and businesses rely on. The USO is the Royal Mail’s promise of a six-day-a-week postal service to all parts of the UK for a uniform tariff, and is enshrined in legislation.

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