Young are driven out of rural areas

A lack of jobs and affordable housing is driving young people out of the countryside, a report warns.

Commission for Rural Communities chairman Stuart Burgess reports on "deep concerns" over work, training, housing, transport and social exclusion in rural England. He said planning rules must be loosened and broadband and mobile phone links improved if rural communities are to survive.

Dr Burgess said: "Challenges with housing, work, transport, training and social exclusion are preventing young people from living in the countryside."

Unite national officer Chris Kaufman said: "This report has uncovered the problems families in rural England face. Employers are holding down the pay of agricultural and farm workers. Low pay undermines local shops and services.

"The need for affordable housing and the challenges young people face in England's rural communities has been recognised in this report."

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