Defra is the rural department within Government and Defra Ministers act as rural champions, promoting the interests and needs of rural people, communities and businesses. The Government has created new rural policy functions in Defra. The Rural Communities Policy Unit (RCPU) will support Defra Ministers, acting as a centre of rural expertise.
The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) was established to promote awareness of rural needs amongst
decision-makers across and beyond Government. In June 2010 the Secretary of State announced that the CRC was to be
abolished, subject to legislation and the consultation exercise required by the Public Bodies Bill. DEFRA’s internal rural policy
capacity was to be expanded to create a Rural Communities Policy Unit (RCPU). Closure of theCRC is subject to the outcomes
of parliamentary debates following the laying of an order in Parliament in April 2012, and Defra are expecting CRC to continue
until March 2013. The CRC’s statutory functions of ‘Advice, Advocacy and Watchdog’ will be carried out this year by the
Chairman, Dr Stuart Burgess, and Commissioners supported by a flexible small team, acting as a
critical friend to DEFRA and especially the RCPU.
for rural communities
(Prices liable to fluctuation due to
volatility of international markets)