What can be done to regenerate the rural economy?
The rural economy has come under extreme pressure over recent years due to a series of changes across recent decades.
Those factors include rural depopulation and gentrification and urban growth which has had a deleterious effect upon the rural economy and village life.
Ukip’s proposals have been costed and independently verified. Ukip will scrap the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and replace it with a single farm payment scheme.
There will also be a further push to roll out high-speed broadband in rural areas – there is a distinct lack of this in many parts of Eddisbury.
How can the character of existing villages be preserved in light of the recent influx of housing developments?
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been demonstrated to be deeply harmful to local concerns over greenbelt development.
This issue is an emotive one in areas of Eddisbury and our villages are being destroyed. My own former village of Davenham is now practically a suburb of Northwich.
The Rilshaw Lane development near Winsford has also trampled on local people’s concerns.
Yet it is a Conservative government that is doing this, quite contrary to their 2010 manifesto promises. One solution is to develop Brownfield sites, there’s a lot on Winsford Industrial estate.
How can oversubscription to schools in the rural areas be resolved?
People involved in education talk of half measures being introduced although the situation is much the same in urban settings.
In Winsford, the praiseworthy Winsford Academy has announced that staff numbers are being reduced and Mid-Cheshire College has reduced the availability of courses in the town to 16-18-year-olds.
A major pressure on budgets has been the rapid increase in population caused by EU immigration. A controlled system of immigration will mitigate in the medium to long term.
Adequate funds must be provided but only if we are clear what we will actually cut spending on in order to do so.
What would you do to improve access to hospital services for people living in remote rural areas?
In addition to removing parking fees, Ukip will ensure that our NHS remains as a national and not an international resource.
The requirement to provide services to ALL EU nationals places a strain on resources that simply cannot be met in the long term.
The proposal to remove parking fees will be welcome, in addition to which the slow erosion of services in outlying areas and move towards centralisation must be resisted.
Leighton and Chester are both great hospitals, but they are still some distance away for most Eddisbury residents.
Ukip has pledged a fully costed plan to support NHS services.
How would you improve transport issues for people living in rural communities?
Notwithstanding the fact that all of the other major parties support a £50bn high-speed rail link (which the House of Lords economic affairs committee has rubbished), the project would not have provided assistance to rural communities in any case.
Much of the money saved could be used to improve infrastructure between towns and villages.
The existing infrastructure is already coming under strain and the time taken to travel between villages on public transport is almost the same as 100 years ago. Scrap HS2 and transfer some of the funds elsewhere.
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