YP Comment: Key questions over rural affairs

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PRIME MINISTER’S Questions will, in all likelihood, follow a familiar pattern – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will raise worthy issues while Theresa May will remain coy over Brexit. There will also be little or no mention of the countryside, even though today sees Dr Charles Trotman, a senior adviser to the Country Land and Business Association, giving evidence to a key select committee on rural tourism.

There will also be little or no mention of the countryside, even though today sees Dr Charles Trotman, a senior adviser to the Country Land and Business Association, giving evidence to a key select committee on rural tourism.

Ministers and backbenchers from all parties would be advised to listen to Dr Trotman’s evidence as he sets out a five-point plan to empower countryside communities and invigorate the rural economy. His message is set to be a blunt one: businesses will not invest in remoter parts of Britain unless there’s a clear plan for the future and guarantees over the provision of broadband so fledgling enterprises can operate in a digital age.

This is key. If the provision of key services is to remain sustainable, Yorkshire’s National Parks do, in fact, need to generate a new era of jobs and prosperity to support younger families who are drifting, in increasing numbers, to metropolitan areas to further their prospects. Every Whitehall department has, in various ways, some responsibility towards the country’s rural heartlands. It’s time that they started treating this public duty more seriously.

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