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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Living in the British Countryside: Rural dream? Some of the worst health and poverty issues are found in the countryside

Health and wellbeing in rural areas, the official report (pdf, 47 pages), Local Government Association and Public Health England

Many county and district councils choose to ignore this fact:

Digital access and exclusion -  A combination of the older demographic and the unavailability of high speed broadband and mobile phone networks are leading to an increasing digital gap between urban and rural areas. A significant minority of the UK population, 13 per cent (6.4 million) of adults, have never used the internet, with 18 per cent saying that they do not have internet access at home.

From MailOnline - "Rural dream? It's more like a nightmare: One in six areas with the worst health and poverty issues are found in the countryside"

"A report yesterday claimed that such rural idylls are a myth to many who are mired in poverty and poor health. It claimed that millions of country dwellers are suffering from deprivation, illness and disability, and that too little is being done to help them".

"Miss Seccombe said: ‘The remoteness of our rural communities from their nearest point of contact with a GP or hospital can leave those residents cut off from getting vital support. The health of our rural residents is just as important as those in our towns and cities. They must not be forgotten or left behind.’"

Rural deprivation and ill-health in England 'in danger of being overlooked' - Popular idea of an affluent idyll is far from the truth, report warns, with official statistics failing to capture significant inequalities across communities, The Guardian

Idyllic rural image hides poverty and isolation, The Times (subscribe/sign in to read)

"Rolling hills and pretty hedgerows are masking a potential health crisis in the countryside, with pockets of social deprivation going largely unnoticed by central government, Public Health England has warned.“Serious endemic poverty and deprivation” goes undetected and is getting worse, especially in coastal areas, former mining communities and places with either a sparse and scattered population or a high number of migrant workers, the report says. While most people living in rural areas remain healthier and wealthier than those in cities, rising house prices and fewer job opportunities in the countryside have fuelled an exodus of young people and left behind a growing population of elderly people with poor access to healthcare, according to the report co-authored by the Local Government Association (LGA)".

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