Rural Fair Share Petition

Editors Note: If you have accessed this page by following the link printed in the Parish Pump for more information about broadband and the on-line petition to get faster FTTC broadband in ALL Devon and Somerset villages, please go to Faster broadband final coverage map 2017 Apologies for the wrong link printed in the Parish Pump.

The House of Commons Rural Affairs Select Committee recently concluded that the Local Government Finance Settlement is unfair to rural communities and that as a result, urban areas will receive 50% more support per head than rural areas despite the higher costs of delivering services in rural areas.

This means that rural areas such as Upottery will be left to fall further behind urban areas in the provision of local government services ranging from collecting rubbish and recycling to schools and social services. See Independant article for more background information.

The Rural Services Network has launched a Parliamentary Petition to the House of Commons to reduce this penalty that is being imposed on rural areas which are already poorly served by many services including public transport, roads, broadband, healthcare and education by comparison with urban areas.

Because this is a Parliamentary Petition (headed up by Graham Stuart MP), it needs to be signed on paper, with your address to show which parliamentary constituency you live in. Forms then have to be returned to the House of Commons no later than September 30, 2013. (The petition cannot be signed online)

If you live in Upottery, Smeatharpe or Rawridge, you are in the Tiverton & Honiton parliamentary constituency (MP is Neil Parish) and a copy of the Tiverton and Honiton petition form is available for download at the bottom of this page.

If you live in one of the neighbouring Somerset parishes, you are in the Taunton Deane parliamentary constituency (MP is Jeremy Browne) and a copy of the Taunton Deane petition form is also available for download at the bottom of this page.

Please click on the appropriate arrow () at the bottom of this page to download the appropriate form so you can print it off, sign it, and get as many friends & neighbours to sign it and then return it to the address shown on the form no later than September 30, 2013. (Adobe pdf reader is free to download here) One signature on a form will be accepted but the more signatures you can get on each form and send to The House of Commons before September 30, 2013, the better. The address to send forms to is shown on the bottom of each form.

See also: Email from Paul Diviani, Leader of east Devon District Council urging constituents to sign the petition.

The Rural Fair Share petition has now closed and following the petition, our MP, Neil Parish led a House of Commons Debate, on October 10, 2013 arguing that rural districts need to to be treated in a fairer manner by central government - just one tenth of one percent of the whole budget to be shifted to rural areas! Full details of the debate can be read at: Rural Fair Share debate.

It now remains to be seen how the Government will respond to this debate. Further details will be published here when known.

Thank you to all in Upottery, Smeatharpe, Rawridge and surrounding parishes for signing the Rural Fair Share petition.