On 17th September 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to three written questions, about the Government’s statistical use of the rural-urban classification, the Government’s response to the Independent Rural Proofing Implementation Review and access to the Rural Services Delivery Grant.
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether all government departments have now adopted the Office for National Statistics rural-urban classification in their analyses of data and evidence.
Lord Bridges of Headley: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in implementing the recommendations of the Independent Rural Proofing Implementation Review; and when they expect to report fully on that progress.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: Ministers are currently carefully considering the recommendations made in the review. The Government response will be published in the autumn.
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they plan to assist rural councils that cannot access funding from the Rural Services Delivery Grant in order to ensure that the additional cost of delivery of services in rural areas is adequately resourced.
Baroness Williams of Trafford: In setting the baseline in 2013-14, the Government took into account the additional costs of delivering services in rural areas. It increased the amount distributed through sparsity in the older people’s social care need formula, and both the district and county-level environmental, protective and cultural services need formulae. In addition a separate sparsity element was introduced in the fire need formula.
The Government believes that all authorities have sufficient resources to deliver adequate services within their areas.