The East of England Rural Forum (EERF)
 

Regional Rural White Paper

Action Plan for the Rural White Paper

In September 2010, the East of England Rural Forum published a rural white paper for the East of England – ‘Vibrant Rural Communities’. This described their vision for rural areas over the next ten years and proposed recommendations for its achievement.

Actions were developed in consultation with representatives from more than 120 organisations including businesses, the public sector and community groups from across the East of England and an Action Plan was put together. This Plan describes in more detail the recommendations and actions and identifies those bodies and organisations the EERF will work with for delivery of the five key themes:

• Broadband and Telephony Services;
• Economic Growth and Skills;
• Housing and the Built Environment;
• Sustainable Development;
• Access to Services

Action in all these areas is necessary if our rural communities, their people, businesses and natural environment, are to fulfil their potential and contribute to a greener, more prosperous and sustainable future.

A letter from our Chairman, Pat Holtom, regarding the Action Plan for EERF’s Rural White Paper is being distributed to all key individuals and organizations that can help with delivery of the actions. A summary of the action plan is also available.


Vibrant Rural Communities - A Rural Policy White Paper for the East of England

This paper describes the EERF’s vision for our rural areas over the next ten years and proposes actions necessary for its achievement. We intend to campaign for its objectives and work with partners to champion this vision and will be circulating the paper to the region’s MPs this week.

In particular, there are three critical areas which have impacts across all rural areas:

  • Digital inclusion is critical to the future of rural areas. Access to high speed broadband is fundamental to growing the rural economy and enabling rural inhabitants to access services;

  • Rural economic growth needs to occur at a faster rate than the regional economy to reverse the trend to ever greater levels of out commuting which have been seen in recent years. This will drive social, economic and environmental sustainability and provide a future for young people within their rural community;

  • Demographic change requires active interventions to retain young families through improving their economic opportunities and by tackling the shortage of affordable rural housing whilst ensuring rural services meet the needs of older people.

    Please click to read the summary version of the White Paper, the full version and the covering letter that accompanied it.

Covering letter from the Pat Holtom Chairman East of England Rural Forum

Vibrant Rural Communities Unlocking the Potential of the East of England’s Rural Areas

Vibrant Rural Communities Unlocking the Potential of the East of England’s Rural Areas - Summary


The Rural Forum is preparing an Action Plan that will describe how its recommendations and its vision for rural communities over the next 10 to 20 years will be achieved.

It will describe what needs to be done, by whom and when, with clear priorities and monitoring procedures. It will present ideas and make recommendations for action by public, private and voluntary sector partners over the next five years.

On the mornings of 11 February, 4 March and 18 March, we are organising consultation events.  These aim to capture the views of all people and organisations with an interest in rural affairs.  Our desire is that with the help of various organisations and people interested in rural matters, the Action Plan will identify pragmatic solutions that would stimulate the rural economy, support the efficient delivery of services to rural communities and promote social action by individuals and communities.  Through facilitated discussion groups, we want to hear your concerns, your ideas and your proposals.

Each workshop will follow the same format.

Please will you complete and return the registration form at your earliest convenience.  Also feel free to cascade to colleagues who you believe would wish to contribute to the discussions.

Maps for the workshop venues are available here:

  • 11 February, Hylands House (not Park) - Map
  • 4 March, Santon Down Village Hall - Map
  • 18 March, Wyboston Lakes - Map


If you wish to join us at any of these events, please download the registration form and send to contact Mags Lambert (enquiries@eerf.org.uk) or call 01473 345346.

If you are unable to attend but wish your ideas to be considered, please send them to Lynn@collisonassociates.co.uk


Letter to MPs
With the significant changes to the role of regional organisations expected to be introduced by the new government and the pressure on public sector expenditure, our Chairman, Pat Holtom, has written to all the MPs in our region.

You will see from the attached letter that the aim is to inform MPs of our existence, raise understanding of the EERF and its activities and describe its contribution to the rural content of future policy and plans for East of England. We have also informed MPs of the planned launch of our Rural White Paper in September and to expect an invitation to attend.


The East of England Rural Forum believes that it is the appropriate time to develop a Rural White Paper for the Region. The White Paper will be a visionary document for the Region. It will be an important influencing document for policy makers at local, regional and national government level.

Its purpose will be to refocus the priorities for the rural communities’ in the East of England region against a changing backdrop of national, regional and local policy and organisational structure.

At its meeting on 14th September, the forum members approved the Scoping Document for the white paper and authorised the Forum Steering Group to pursue actions to draft the full paper.

Regional Rural White Paper Scoping Document


The Rural Forum is preparing a paper that will capture its vision for rural communities over the next 10 to 20 years. It will present ideas and make recommendations for public, private and voluntary sector partners for action over the next five years.

The paper must be comprehensive, relevant and accurate and we would value your input to ensure that it is. On the afternoon of Wednesday 3 March at Shuttleworth Park, Bedfordshire we are organising a regional consultation event. This aims to capture the view of all people and organisations with an interest in rural affairs. Through facilitated discussion groups, we want to hear your concerns, your ideas and your proposals.

If you wish to join us at 2pm on 3 March please contact Mags Lambert on 01473 345346. (25/01/10)


Thank you to those who attended and contributed to the Rural White Paper consultation event on 3 March – the event was very successful and a draft consultation paper has now been produced and circulated for final contributions and comments.   All of the documents relating to this Paper are listed below:

Briefing paper for 3 March 2010 Event

Rural White Paper Presentation made on 3 March by Martin Collison

Draft Rural White Paper circulated for final consultation (deadline for comments – 1 April 2010)