Opportunities come from change

Press continues to carry news of more Government Agencies and quangos facing abolition and cuts.  We are all thinking ‘What’s next?’ 

 Collectively, we need to turn this round and consider ‘how do we make this work for rural areas?’   It’s difficult as the context will continue to change for some months and will dominate discussions.  This is the opportunity to seed ideas to tackle key rural issues and ensure good practice is carried forward.

 As the dust settles on changes to Government structures evidence based policy making to identify and tackle local issues will come back to the fore.  Evidence will shape future Government priorities and funding streams.  It becomes even more important than before with national budget constraints. 

 West Midlands has a strong rural evidence base accessible to all through West Midlands Regional Observatory and Advantage West Midlands.  We should continue to use it to demonstrate our understanding of key rural issues to Government and make the case for future interventions.

 The Rural Evidence Base remains up to date with recent additions on rural broadband infrastructure and rural disadvantage. Let’s use our evidence to make the case for rural areas.

 Claire Robinson

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