"That is my sort of preamble to the work that has gone on which I want to talk about, which has reaffirmed the Government's vision for sustainable rural communities...."http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/ministers/speeches/am040114.htm
Alun Michael, Minister of Statedelivered the keynote address to the More Effective Rural Policy conference on January 14th 2004 about progress towards the "Government's vision for sustainable rural communities...."
Even with the accompanying slides http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/ministers/speeches/am040114-presentation.pdf, one wonders what those attending his lecture at the Royal Over-seas League felt about delivery - in all senses of the word. Effective communication ought to be a top priority for any government department. Without clarity of English there can never be any shared objectives.
Extracts from the lecture as given by the Defra website (under "Ministers Speech's", as it is distressingly spelt)
One is just too disheartened to read on.
"But I think people have accepted that and we have an enormous amount of cross-cutting work now, those who care about the environment want to see prosperity there, English Nature for instance, has done some good work on sustainable tourism, has made the point that SSSIs are not only important for protecting our heritage and for encouraging bio-diversity but they are actually fascinating places for people to visit and if there is not a contact between the people and their interest in these things and that protection of the environment then we are in grave danger of creating a countryside which is a museum of the landscape rather than being a living countryside of the sort that I referred to as being part of Defra's vision of what we are trying to work with the countryside, with those who care about the countryside, in order to achieve. " "after an emersion (sic) in the impact of foot and mouth on rural communities and economies, we took stock of the Rural White Paper and found that surprising progress had been made. This was published with the report of the Rural Task Force - which I chaired - and which was looking at the impact on rural communities wider than the direct impact on farming and the first Haskins' report where Lord Haskins had spent some time marauding (sic) the countryside in Cumbria and Devon and various places and came back with a variety of recommendations which helped us in developing rural policy. ..
....They enable us if you like to distinguish between the remote, those areas that are furthest from large centres of population, urban economic drivers and the peripheral which may be remote as well but may not be, and that distinction between things like in some of the Cornish areas of post industrial communities which aren't sort of classic rural in fact there are very few that are purely classic rural.
The picture is complex, it is varied, there are regional differences and it is a major challenge to make sure that policy reflects the reality of what is going on in rural areas.
That is my sort of preamble to the work that has gone on which I want to talk about, which has reaffirmed the Government's vision for sustainable rural communities...."
".....One of the pieces of work that will come from the research centre the Birkbeck Network in the future is an unpacking of what all of this means region by region and I think this is very important because if it is difficult to encompass all the variations that you have for instance in the South-West where I think it is something over 200 miles isn't it from one end to the other, think what it is like if we do what seems absolutely stupid really if you have any belief in regional devolution, which is to try to hold the concept of rural communities in the whole of England in your mind at the one time with all those regional variations, so it is very important that we do start to unpack what it is that we see from these figures.
Today's rural landscape then, we all know that rural areas are very diverse, our improving evidence-base helps to flesh this out. ..."
The speech accompanied the following presentation http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/ministers/speeches/am040114-presentation.pdf "More Effective Rural Policy"