Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has welcomed a report by MPs that said the government was not doing enough for rural communities.
The report was the result of a consultation between the House of Commons environment committee and groups from across the country with interests in rural communities.
The committee criticised the government’s handling of rural regions, saying that the communities pay more council tax, but receive a poorer quality of services than those offered in urban areas.
The charity ACRE has welcomed the report, saying, “We have long advocated on issues such as transport, fuel poverty, affordable warmth, and this report recognises the issues within the rural communities.
“We work with councils in rural communities and liaise between them and [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] in order to bring about change for residents who may be disadvantaged. This report clearly picks up on these issues and we hope that the government will begin to address them.”
Fuel poverty is said to be an issue that is more likely in rural communities than in urban ones, with rural areas less likely to have consistent access to gas.
ACRE says that it backs initiatives that address this, including a project that buys bulk heating oil, an expensive alternative to gas, making it more accessible and affordable for rural communities.