Rural poverty as bad as in inner cities

06 October 1998

‘Rural poverty as bad as in inner cities’

By FWi staff

PEOPLE in rural areas face similar problems to those living in the inner cities, delegates at a conference in London were told today (Tuesday).

The conference, arranged by the Rural Development Commission, heard that rural poverty and social exclusion are widespread in the English countryside.

Delegates were told that many services taken for granted by previous generations have long fallen by the wayside.

An RDC survey last year found that 70% of rural parishes had no general store, 83% no local doctor and 91% no day-care group.

An estimated 75% of rural parishes had no daily bus service and 94%, no rail service.

The survey found that more low-income households had to run a car in rural areas than in towns, and a further 20% of rural households had no car.

“Policymakers must recognise that poverty and social exclusion are not just urban problems,” said Rural Development Commission chairman Miles Middleton

“Official indicators do not identify such disadvantage because they focus on accepted notions of urban poverty.”

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