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Local Authority Leader Appointed to Put Spotlight on Rural Issues

22 October 2008
Paul Bettison

Paul Bettison, Leader of Bracknell Forest Borough Council, has been appointed to chair the South East's new Rural Board, established by SEEDA and other partners on behalf of the region.

"I am delighted to join this new Rural Board, at a very important time for rural communities, businesses and our green spaces,” said Paul. “I am passionate about a strong rural economy, thriving rural communities and beautiful, healthy landscapes in the South East of England. I am really looking forward to making a difference, and to learning from stakeholders just what needs to be done in the South East to deliver the rural agenda."

 As Chairman, Paul will lead the Board in identifying the key economic, social and environmental trends affecting the rural sector. He will lead the Board in identifying priority actions which will make a difference for businesses and communities. The Board will be supported by SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, and GOSE, the Government Office for the South East. It replaces both the SEEDA-led Rural Advisory Committee and the GOSE-led SE Rural Partnership, and thereby streamlines and focuses regional arrangements.

A new Rural Forum will work closely with the Board, strengthening current links between the rural sector and Local Authorities. The Forum will provide advice and intelligence about the rural issues to Community Strategies and Local Area Agreements.

 Paul will also use his direct access to government Ministers and other key partners at national and regional level to promote rural issues.

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