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Country News - 2004

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Welcome boost for rural pensioners

Tuesday 23 March 2004

COUNTRYSIDE organisations have welcomed a Government announcement that more money is to be made available to ensure that old age pensioners living in rural areas receive all the benefits to which they are entitled.

Many pensioners in the countryside feel isolated, having poor access to public transport and have difficulty in dealing with complex red tape on the telephone, a fact which the Country Landowners’ and Business Association pointed out 18 months ago.

Last year, the CPRE carried out a nationwide survey of 120 country towns and the results published today are pretty depressing. Says the report: “The health check found many towns to be threatened by bland and uniform new development with nothing local about it.

Yesterday (March 24) Rural Affairs Minister announced the grant of an extra £1.25 million to community organisations which advise old folk, a move which the CLA welcomed.

But the association also warned voluntary organisations helping the elderly to apply for the new funds well before the June 30th deadline – “whilst £1.25 million seems a lot, it will not go far and it will go fast.”


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