The Big Society approach is already alive and well in many of our rural villages and market towns. But there’s a lot more that could be done to help.
The CRC and Respublica have worked together to develop the briefing paper released today. ‘The Rural Big Society‘, based on engagement with a broad cross section of rural interest groups, looks at the value of the Big Society approach to rural communities. It makes a series of recommendations for action, including that:
- The Church of England, whose assets of property and land sit at the heart of many rural communities, should work with government to see how these assets can better be used to support the rural Big Society
- Local parish and town councils should capture revenue from the New Homes Bonus
- Government should champion the role and potential of the Village Agents approach to support, advice and social capital-building, already successfully used in Gloucestershire
- Proposed local GP consortia should make annual reports to the villages and towns they serve, perhaps via the local parish or town council.
Crispin Moor on behalf of the Commission for Rural Communities said “We think the Big Society approach should not just work for deprived communities. It should work for all communities wherever they are. And our villages and market towns are amongst the best placed areas to take the Big Society approach to the next level”.