MAY 1, 2009: The Government should be doing more to provide ‘green’ affordable rural homes, says England’s largest rural partnership.

The call has come from the Rural Services Network, which has welcomed the government’s positive response to the Taylor Review of the Rural Economy and Affordable Housing. This review by Matthew Taylor MP focused on the need for a major stimulus to affordable housing and the development of sustainable communities, which included the need for a low carbon economy and encouragement of new types of enterprise and innovation. Following the review’s publication, the government unveiled proposals to ‘help create strong and diverse rural communities which are able to tackle their own unique challenges at a local level.’ Graham Biggs, chief executive of RSN, which represents English rural local authorities and a variety of other important rural service providers, said his members were very encouraged by the government’s initial response to the Taylor Review. But he said immediate investment and action to develop ‘green’ energy-efficient affordable housing in rural communities is required. ‘Provision of rural housing which is affordable to local people on local wages will be fundamental in promoting a low carbon economy that will grow rural enterprise and long-term employment. But action speaks louder than words and we need action now,’ Mr Biggs claimed.

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