The Scottish Land & Estates believes that rural communities must have adequate access to local services. The cost of delivery often means that market forces may result in a decline in provision, and new services may never reach certain rural localities. This exclusion is not acceptable; there is, therefore, a need for public intervention to assist in ensuring social inclusion and the sustainability of rural communities.
The access to services was one of the key aspects of Speak up for Rural Scotland, a document produced by the Rural Development Council, which contained a vision for rural Scotland:
- Active and confident communities
- The best connected place
- Competitive enterprise creating employment opportunities
- World rated natural and built environment
The document also contained a number of step changes required to achieve this vision. The Scottish Land & Estates welcomed the publication of the document but suggested that more focus was required on economic sustainability and also that further detail was required in terms of implementation.
In March the Scottish Government published a response to Speak up for Rural Scotland, entitled Our Rural Future
, which makes a number of commitments in relation to rural services.