Northumberland Labour is giving its support to Labour’s Rural England Policy Review, the results of which will be presented to the party conference in September. Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard MP is leading the review and asked Labour groups in rural areas to contribute.
Rothbury Labour Party one of the most rural responded, saying extremes of wealth and poverty coexist in rural communities just as they do in urban ones, but the effects of rural poverty are often harder to bear, particularly when exacerbated by isolation and difficulty accessing public services and means of social interaction.
They cite the need for better pay and conditions for farmworkers, tourism (which is so vital in many local areas) to be managed in a way that does not damage the environment or the health and wellbeing of local people, housing to be available and affordable for local people, greater powers delegated to town and parish councils, services such as water authorities to be accountable to local people rather than remote shareholders so issues like flood prevention can be swiftly addressed and innovative public transport schemes introduced to give people access to towns and services.
Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “We fully support the views of Rothbury Party and always value the contributions of our membership branches. We welcome Luke Pollard’s review, in a county like ours which has a mix of villages and towns we must ensure that a future Labour government addresses the issues that face people in rural and urban areas equally.
“It’s excellent that this review is taking palace and Labour is recognising this issue. Labour at a national level is listening to what its members and representatives on the ground are saying in terms of rural issues and these will be reflected in the review when it’s presented at the party conference.
"It gives us a realistic picture so we can also be an effective opposition and hold a government which says it's committed to levelling up to account."