Saturday 25 May 2013

Country Standard - The Countryside Charter

1. Work to convene a rural convention, involving communities, councils, unions and rural focused organisations such as Woodcraft, Ramblers and the CPRE to develop a vision for rural living.

2. Create a ‘Rebuild Rural Britain bank working with the Coop bank and credit unions - to supply funds to councils and those creating jobs and services through coops in rural areas.

3. Turn DEFRA into a ministry for the promotion and organization of quality rural living and employment, with a focus on environment.

4. DEFRA should coordinate an emergency programme of job creation aimed at youth.

5. DEFRA to work with Departments for Transport and Employment, to establish public rural bus services.

6. Yes to a legally enforceable living wage for every rural worker - support for an Agricultural Wages Board.

7. Councils to be allowed to raise funds to build and provide affordable rural housing to rent and buy.

8. Promote coops as a model for small farms, animal and crop production, construction, food processing, rural tourism and retailing. Coops to be given preference in the allocation of council contracts.

9. Access for all to high-speed rural broadband.

10. Provide proper resourcing for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to enforce the law against cowboy employers.

11. Support the development of allotments, and urban gardens and food production.

12. Re establish national sovereignty over decision making in farming, fishing and rural affairs.

13. Extend greater decision making in rural affairs to the Scottish Parliament and Wales Assembly. Support the establishment of a parliament for Cornwall.