Owl says: is EDDC paying too mych attention to Cranbrook and the Greater Exeter Growth Area p, leaving the rest of the district to wither on the vine?
“Unaffordable housing, an ageing population unable to access health services, slow broadband and poorly skilled workers make for a deepening divide between town and country.
The threat is exposed in the interim report of the Post-Brexit England Commission set up by the Local Government Association to examine challenges faced by non-metropolitan England.
Young people are struggling to stay in rural communities where the average house price is £320,700 – £87,000 higher than the £233,600 average of urban areas, excluding London, the report said.
Rural firms grapple with patchy mobile and broadband connections which cuts off access to new markets.
Councillor Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “Rural areas face a perfect storm.
“It is increasingly difficult for people to buy a home in their local community, mobile and broadband connectivity can be patchy.
“People living within rural and deeply rural communities face increasing isolation from health services. If Britain is to make the most of a successful future outside the EU, it’s essential our future success is not confined to our cities. Unless the Government can give non-metropolitan England the powers and resources it needs, it will be left behind.”
Tom Fyans, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “Affordable housing, public transport, high speed broadband and thriving rural economies are all interdependent.
“If our market towns and villages are to thrive once again we must make sure that rural communities are attractive places to live and prosper for people of all ages.”