Despair of young over life and work in countryside is risk to rural communities - The Yorkshire Post says

YOUNG people are the future of every community in Yorkshire, and especially so for the towns and villages of our countryside, which need new blood, energy and hard work if they are to thrive.

So it is deeply concerning that the young feel so pessimistic about their prospects in rural communities, seeing both the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit as likely to compromise their chances of a successful future.

This is a matter of grave concern for our county.

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If the young have little prospect of living or being able to work in the countryside, then that in turn poses serious risks to the future of both agriculture and the wider rural economy.

There must be opportunities for young people to live and work in the countryside.

Rural Yorkshire is in serious danger of slipping into a cycle of decline that sees young people moving away from the towns or villages of their birth, even if they wish to make careers there, because they cannot afford a home or earn a living.

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This leads to a hollowing-out of these communities, leaving them with an ageing population, the closure of schools and a loss of vital services such as public transport, which will then only bring about further decline.

This vicious cycle has to be broken if the futures of both agriculture and rural communities are to be safeguarded.

That must mean giving the region’s young people the opportunity to both live and work in the countryside.

It is long overdue for the Government to pay much more attention to rural voices than it has, and to provide the help that these communities so desperately need.

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