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West Suffolk task force to engage on rural issues




A council task force set up to look at opportunities and issues in West Suffolk’s rural areas is to engage with communities and businesses to develop its work.

At its recent meeting, the group agreed to talk to a range of residents, organisations and businesses in rural areas.

Cllr John Griffiths, West Suffolk Council’s leader, made a commitment in his first speech to the new authority to establish a rural task force.

Members of the West Suffolk Council Rural Task Force - L to R Cllrs Peter Stevens, John Smith, Mary Evans, Terry Clements, Mike Chester, Andrew Smith, Diane Hind, Jim Thorndyke and Robin Millar. Picture: West Suffolk Council
Members of the West Suffolk Council Rural Task Force - L to R Cllrs Peter Stevens, John Smith, Mary Evans, Terry Clements, Mike Chester, Andrew Smith, Diane Hind, Jim Thorndyke and Robin Millar. Picture: West Suffolk Council

Cllr Mike Chester, chairman of the new group, said: “Our rural areas have both opportunities and issues that we want to look at.

“One of the best ways of doing that is not only looking at the evidence we have but talking to people who live and run businesses and organisations there, to ask their opinions.

“This will be crucial in developing options both to directly address some of the issues identified and also to ensure rural considerations are taken into account in future council processes and decision making.

“We will now be working up that programme of engagement and will be publicising when and how people can have their say.”

The rural task force will engage with communities and businesses while using a range of local and national evidence to identify ‘key issues, assets and challenges’.

The review will take in all West Suffolk areas and draw on evidence and research produced by bodies such as the Rural Services Network and the House of Lords Select Committee on the rural economy.

It is expected that West Suffolk Council’s cabinet will hear interim recommendations from the rural task force.



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