Brooks Newmark, MP for Braintree, joined other MPs in organising a petition to be presented to Parliament on Monday 4th November.
The Rural Fair Share campaign supports impartial, objective, needs based policy which is equitable to all. It will also help Members of Parliament who represent the countryside to do a better job of making our case about the needs of rural areas.
According to a report by the Rural Services Network, rural residents earn less, on average, than those in cities, pay council tax which is £100 higher per head, and see urban areas receive government grants fifty per cent higher per head than those in the countryside. This means people in the country earn less, pay higher council tax and then receive substantially less support for services. Delivering services in sparsely populated rural areas also tends to be more expensive, which can add to the burden.
Brooks said “It is important to me that constituents in rural areas are not penalised, and that services and provisions for everyone are equal and fair.”
The Rural Fair Share campaign’s petition totalled over 19,000 signatories from 119 constituencies. This fantastic response illustrates that people all across the country are united in demanding a fairer deal for our rural communities.
Mr Brooks Newmark (Braintree) (Con): I, too, am handing in a petition in the same terms for more than 200 signatories from my constituency. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to reduce the rural penalty in staged steps by at least 10% by 2020.
The Petition of the residents of Braintree, Essex.
Declares that the Petitioners believe that the Local Government Finance Settlement is unfair to rural communities; notes that the Rural Penalty sees urban areas receive 50% more support per head than rural areas despite higher costs in rural service delivery; and opposes the planned freezing of this inequity in the 2013–14 settlement for six years until 2020.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reduce the Rural Penalty in staged steps by at least 10% by 2020.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.