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Why have services declined in rural areas in the past 30 years?

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Introduction

Human Geography Essay Q. Why have services declined in rural areas in the past 30 years? (20 Marks) A recent survey conducted by the Women's Institute found that in the final decade of the 20th Century, more than a thousand village shops had closed down, and most rural communities lay within ten miles of a supermarket.1 This discovery has become just one of a number of eventualities that have arisen in over the past 30 years, since the arrival of a retail revolution experienced by the UK during the 1970s. A key factor in this is the fact that the population as a whole have become more mobile. At the end of 2000, there were over 24 million cars registered in the UK, double that registered in 1975. Over 70 per cent of British households had regular use of a car in 1998-2000, and ownership was well spread amongst different sectors of the population. The number of households with the use of one car has remained stable over recent years at about 45 per cent, but the proportion with the use of two or more has risen to 28 per cent, almost doubling from 1981 to 2000.2 These figures indicate the reasoning behind rural service decline in the UK, and likewise, in many countries across the developed world. ...read more.

Middle

Larger villages tend to grow faster, as they have a faster response to planning priorities. Also, planning constraints in the county, with areas of green belt around Oxford discourages growth, and this too leads to prevention of urban sprawl and developments outside the city itself. Areas such as Nuneham Courtenay in the Chilterns were declared areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and growth was constrained leading to a rural decline of services. The need for new development meant that these places lost out, and planning permission was given to areas with more developments already occurring. The combination of these factors has resulted in depopulation and stagnation in some villages, with rapid growth in others. Ipsden stagnated because of poor accessibility, but Nuneham Courtenay's decline was because its designation as an AONB. These declines seen in the county were also due to a final factor though. The relatively affluent inhabitants in many settlements were unsympathetic towards these changes. NIMBYism - the 'Not In My Back Yard' approach halted further developments. There opinions centred on the existing villages, and did not welcome these new changes. These may have been just some of the reasons why services have declined in rural areas in the past 30 years. Q. With reference to examples, discuss the issues raised by this decline in rural services. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are also unlikely to sell their homes, preferring to rent, and therefore inflate the rural housing market. Thus, making it difficult for young people to buy their first homes, and climb onto the housing ladder. National economic changes have raised several important issues. Should rural services be given Government support? Should some housing in rural areas be reserved for local people? And, have influxes of communities and second homeowners had an adverse affect on rural communities? The issues raised in this discussion have been attempted to be counteracted. Key settlement policies have been introduced to kerb depopulation and sustain rural services. These implementations mean that rural communities must have a selection of adequate shops, public transport, a primary school, and community facilities such as a village hall and public house. These policies have an effect on rural settlement hierarchy. They raise the status of these settlements, and accelerate decline in others. Although, inevitably these policies are not popular in the places not designated settlements of improved services, it has helped to balance the disadvantages that have plagued many rural areas over the pat 30 years. 1 Page 185, Geography for AS by Clive Hart 2 Quoted from 'http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=5152&More=Y' 3 AS/A-level Geography Exam Revision Notes ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 / 4 ...read more.

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