You Should You Be Benefiting From Rural Proofing Already!
If you’re living in Rural Areas, the good news is that you should be feeling the effects of Rural Proofing.
In real terms, it may be difficult to tell how much you’re really benefiting from Rural Proofing.
The process began with the Government’s 2000 Rural White Paper, was continued by the Coalition government through the first decade and has now been integrated successfully into standard Government practices – which was the goal of it’s initial inception.
In January 2015, Lord Cameron of Dillington led an independent review into the implementation of Rural Proofing with the aid of crossbench peer Lord Dear as well as a handful of other notable Lords and Baronesses and MPs.
Their aim in undertaking the review was to explore how much governmental departments use the national rural proofing guidelines – put forward by DEFRA in 2013 – and to what extent these guidelines have been systematically embedded into the development of policies.
The review put a great emphasis on analysing the state of rural proofing at the extreme senior levels of Government, tackling government ministers head-on and challenging them to assess their own approach to policy making. They found that, although at times rural proofing was sometimes considered an after thought in the policy-making process – the greatest advances in Rural Proofing came when Rural areas were considered from the outset.
Case Study: Advancing Roll-Out and Mobile Services
With a direct focus on competing with the rest of the EU, in terms of wide-spread mobile coverage and increased Broadband speed, the Government had successfully delivered superfast broadband to 73% of the country – an increase of 45% from 2010.
Downloads of speeds have increased, with the standard speed now at 2 Mbps. Although all rural areas are yet to be fully reached, the Government has achieved their target of providing superfast broadband to 1.5 million UK premises, 600,000 of these were in rural communities.
There has been a fundamental shift, since the introduction of Rural Proofing in 2000, from the merely the consideration of Rural Proofing within the policy-making cycle to the mainstreaming of major rural issues.
A list of recommendation in Lord Cameron’s report (which you can read in full here) have been put forward, with the Government planning on putting many of these ideas into action in the near future.