Borough hosts annual Rural Conference

Published Friday, 07 December 2018

The council recently held its annual Rural Conference attended by delegates who were representing the rural parishes of the borough.

Key partners were also in attendance, including Leicestershire Police, the Rural Communities Council, Midlands Rural Housing, and Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland Resilience Partnership.

Following the establishment of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council’s Rural Strategy in 2015 - which sets out key priorities to tackle some of the most common and important issues faced by people living and working in rural areas - this annual event provides the opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved, and to make sure that resources and delivery continue to be focused on the right areas of work for the following year’s work programme.

This year focused on celebrating some of the great work that has been delivered in our rural communities over the last three years, including the Community Kitchens initiative where volunteers are helping set up cooking and craft sessions in Newbold Verdon, Ratby and Desford; the Borough Council’s important campaign tackling the prevalent issue of fly-tipping; and the successful completion of the Barlestone Community Centre and renovation of Sheepy Magna Church supported by the council’s Developing Communities Fund.  

The day began with a welcome from Sharon Redrobe, Chief Executive at Twycross Zoo, reporting on progress of their ambitious master plan for the ongoing development of this flagship visitor attraction. In addition, delegates heard from Inspector Emma Maxwell, who took up the Local Police Unit Commander role early this year, reporting on the key challenges, successes and priorities for rural policing.  

The event was also a timely opportunity to get some initial feedback from delegates, to help inform a refreshed Rural Strategy for 2019.

Councillor Kevin Morrell, the Borough Council's Executive Member for Rural Affairs gave the opening address who said: 

I am delighted to welcome you to this our annual rural conference, and find it hard to believe our inaugural conference was three years ago in December 2015 – a really important event where I made a commitment that the Borough Council would be putting in place our first Rural Strategy for the borough, setting out the most important priorities for our rural communities, informed by you our parishes. I also promised that this document would not sit on a shelf and be forgotten, but would be utilised to determine where we are putting resources year on year, and regularly reviewed to ensure we continue to be ambitious enough in planning for, and delivering on the things that matter most to our rural communities, now and in the future.

Cllr Morrell concluded by saying “I want to thank all of our Parish Councils, our key partners, many are represented here today, and the myriad of community volunteers, who collectively deliver great work day in day out”.