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Rural Areas

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of progress against his Department’s objective of achieving fair access to public services for rural communities. (219307)

DEFRA’s new departmental strategic objective, which is based on outcomes rather than inputs, is “Strong Rural Communities”. Progress against this DSO, published on the DEFRA website, is assessed quarterly against a range of indicators which show, in the main, a very positive picture.

In addition, the Commission for Rural Communities published its “State of the Countryside” report yesterday, in which the accessibility of services for rural communities is discussed in detail.