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1 South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities Jacinta Thorley SERCC CEO A member of the Rural Community Action.

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Presentation on theme: "1 South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities Jacinta Thorley SERCC CEO A member of the Rural Community Action."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities Jacinta Thorley SERCC CEO A member of the Rural Community Action network Supporting Vibrant Rural Communities in the South East New Rural Structures and the Rural Voice

2 2 The New Regional Structures Separate but complimentary Rural Board – Small strategic decision making body, shaping policy, underpinning & monitoring delivery Made up from – SEEDA, The Regional Assembly, Rural Forum Chair Environment Agency, English Heritage, Local Authorities, SE Rural Community Councils, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Sustainable Farming and Food Chair, A health representative, A business representative. GOSE South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities

3 3 Rural Forum – The regional ‘user gauge’, which inputs to the Board, meets with Rural Affairs Minister, develops the Mainstreaming Plan. Wider body of local networks, which provides evidence on effectiveness of policy & delivery & supports mainstreaming of rural issues at local level. Made up from Rural LSP Champions County Rural Fora / Partnerships Rural Community Councils: Defra strategic partners A Rural LSP practitioners network? A member of the Rural Community Action Network South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities

4 4 Significant Changes in the provision of rural services The end of direct support to rural communities from Defra ; although it still has a DSO for Strong Rural Communities. This direct support replaced by plans to ‘mainstream’ support to rural communities by Local Authorities, through Local Area Agreements and Sustainable Community Strategies. This is a significant change in the governments approach to supporting rural communities and if not recognised by Local Authorities it will have a major impact on the wellbeing of rural communities across the region. Other agencies like Natural England, the AONBs, the Forestry Commission and the Commission for Rural Communities are also experiencing significant budget cuts which will impact on their work in rural areas South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities

5 5 Other Challenges  Defra is challenged to rural proof across other departments  Rural Board’s engagement with Local Authorities – no existing mechanism for regional engagement with LAs  Regional Strategies for Economic and Environmental Issues not well rural proofed  No regional strategy for Social Issues. This is the remit of Local Authorities.  No requirement for LAs to report on how they are meeting rural community needs so how do we ensure ‘mainstreaming’ ?  How are we going to engage with the public service providers who do not have this regional economy/environment focus but whose services are important to rural people? South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities

6 6 South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities How do we meet the challenges together? Local Authorities – Can’t work without their buy in. LSPs expertise and influence in these areas Service delivery through LSPs and LAAs. Rural LSP Champion on the Rural Form gives a real opportunity to influence rural policy & delivery in the region RCCs - using strategic relationship with Defra and local grass roots knowledge and evidence and reach into communities. Offers an evidence base to the LSP. RRCs represent rural expertise, not the VCS

7 7 South East Rural Community Councils Increasing the Regional Voice of Rural Communities Influencing through practitioners? Support network for practitioners supporting rural or partly rural LSPs Enhanced resource for the Rural Forum and Board An aggregated officer voice Rural LSPs can share information, experiences & feed into the forum What are your views?


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