Date Published: 23 July 2019
Rutland County Council has become one of 12 rural local authorities aiming to create a decentralised economy in Britain.
Called Britain’s Leading Edge, the collaboration of local county councils, including Cornwall, Lincolnshire and Rutland, is urging the Government to reallocate public funding and investment decisions to better reflect the contribution rural areas make to the national economy.
In a report issued on Monday(22 July 2019 to mark the Parliamentary launch, the group argues that although the area represented by its members contributes 8% GVA, the same as England’s Core Cities, a ‘policy corridor’ skews opportunities by concentrating investment and public sector relocation around major cities across the centre of the country.
Britain is home to the richest regions in Europe; however, the disparity between the richest and poorest is also the biggest in the continent. Households in core metropolitan areas, such as Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham, receive £2,600 a year more than those in Britain’s rural regions, including Rutland.
Despite this, Britain’s Leading Edge areas account for 11% of the population, make up 44% of England’s landmass and generate 37% of the country’s renewable energy.
“Rutland represents rural England – the challenges and the opportunities. It is therefore vital that our voice is heard, that we get this perspective into the Government’s eyeline and most importantly onto the Treasury Balcony. Rutland and other rural regions are keeping the lights on for the nation. We are rich in natural and social capital and offer secure supplies of clean renewable energy. It’s time the Government redressed a systemic bias against rural areas without major cities. In collaboration with other areas in Britain’s Leading Edge, we want to lead the charge in redistributing wealth and resources to rural areas. Not only will this help to boost the local economy and job opportunities for residents, but more fairly reflect the contribution that counties like Rutland make to the country. We currently face deep economic uncertainty, so now, more than ever, we must ensure the distribution of resources in the UK is fair.”
Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
Find out more and download a copy of the Britain's Leading Edge prospectus.