A spotlight of our work focusing on older people
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A roundup of our news, research and work provided by the Rural Services Network, highlighting issues for older people in the last 12 months.

MP's call for transport revolution

MPs have called for action to improve passenger transport services for isolated communities.  Policymakers must recognise the fundamental importance of transport in isolated communities for access to education, healthcare and employment, said the Transport Select Committee.  Neglect of passenger transport services will reduce access to education, employment, health services, and other essential services, it warned.  Committee chairman Louise Ellman said: "Old and young, unemployed people, those on low incomes and disabled people who live in isolated communities rely on passenger transport."

University leads rural health project

AN initiative to improve health services in rural communities is being led by the University of Cumbria.  The Cumbria Rural Health Forum (CRHF) has been set up to address some of the unique issues and challenges in delivering effective health and social care in a rural area.  Challenges include people travelling further to access healthcare, managing healthcare for an older rural population and having smaller GP practices.

£1.4m lottery cash for rural communities

THE Big Lottery Fund has announced almost £1.4m to help rural communities set up social enterprises.  Building on the success of the Village SOS programme, the Fund's new investment will see the launch of the Village SOS Learning, Outreach and Engagement Campaign.

Offline householders 'pay more for services'

HOUSEHOLDS without internet access pay an average of £440 more a year for goods and services, says a study.  Its findings are particularly relevant for rural households because isolated communities are among those most likely to lack internet access.

Fuel Poverty 'set to rise amongst elderly'

LEVELS of fuel poverty are set to rise among older people in the UK, a charity has warned.

Age UK launched its report to coincide with government figures showing fuel poverty levels remain stubbornly high.

Despite a slight fall in the number of fuel poor older households in England in 2012, the government's annual fuel poverty report projects that levels of fuel poverty are once again set to rise.




Our rolling seminar programme is available for a nominal charge to subscribed member authorities and organisation.  

Approaches to Alternative Service Delivery

The Approaches to Alternative Service Delivery seminar was held at Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford on the 14th of January 2014.
Speakers and presentations included Audrey Roy of Defra, Professor Nigel Curry, Tracey Besant - Project Coordinator Faith in Affordable Housing and Alice Woudhuysen, Senior Campaigns Officer, Age UK. 

Future seminar information is available at the following link:
2014-2015 seminar programme
The RSN Observatory provides a statistical overview of rural life.  It provides analyses and comment on key service provision and issues affecting rural communities.

Click here to view the Observatory.

Areas of interest include:
The changing measure of fuel poverty
ravel and Transport
We highlight relevant research on rural issues and regularly provide comment on issues pertinent to rural communities.

Rural Elderly put pressure on services
The ageing rural population has particular implications for housing, transport and health provision according to a new report, finds Brian Wilson.

Research on rural ageing published by Defra and undertaken by TNS-BMRB and the International Longevity Centre set out to examine how older people in rural areas use services, to understand their service needs, to explore local authority responses and to identify some good practice.

Getting to grips with rural public health
In rural areas some aspects of the public health agenda may be easier to address than others, discovers Brian Wilson.  A recent publication by the King's Fund health charity is a report called Improving the Public's Health: A Resource for Local Authorities.

Going the extra mile - resolving the rural transport challenge

Cars, buses, trains, bicycles are a crucial part of everyday life – whether it's commuting for work, getting to school, visiting friends and family or attending an appointment. Yet in many parts of rural England transport is not working, making it difficult for people to reach jobs, schools, shops and services. What does the future hold? Jessica Sellick investigates.

For each local authority that is a member of the Rural Services Network -Sparse grouping, we provide a dedicated page including lots of facts and figures and analysis focusing on that local area.
LGA / RSN Annual Rural Conference 2014: 
Sustainability out of Austerity
The RSN are working with the LGA to provide the Rural Conference on 9th September in Chester at the Crowne Plaza.  
Places still available - Click to find out more about the conference and book a place
The Rural Services Network is an organisation comprising over 100 local authorities and 120 other public service providers seeking to establish links across public service, identifying and broadcasting best practise and making representations on rural service issues.  For details please visit our website www.rsnonline.org.uk

If you would like to find out more about our services or to join, please contact us on 01822 813641 or admin@sparse.gov.uk
Copyright © 2014 Rural Services Network, All rights reserved.

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