Re-designing the delivery of rural policy
Elton, Chris (2008)


by Chris Elton, Sheffield University

For forty years after the War, rural policy was narrowly focused on the production of food and was delivered through a closed policy community comprising the government and the National Farmers Union. Following the budget crisis in the Common Agricultural Policy in the late 1980’s, the rural policy framework had to embrace broader issues of economic and social restructuring as well as safeguarding the rural environment. Integrated rural development became the key objective of rural policy, but raised difficult questions about the most appropriate means of delivering it.

The presentation will focus on the succession of contrasting approaches to delivering a coherent and integrated rural policy, and the implications of this for the VCS. Over the past decade, a range of different institutional and governance structures have been designed to coordinate rural delivery, against a background of significantly reducing funding for rural policy; for example, the establishment and demise of the Countryside Agency. Mainstreaming rural policy throughout government has become the latest attempt to coordinate rural delivery.

Chris’ presentation is available here (Powerpoint format).


Presented at