Eighty five per cent of North Yorkshire's sweeping, spectacular landscapes are classed as super-sparse.

Call for evidence

The independent panel of experts tasked with helping to turn the tide on rural decline and recommend ways to help some of North Yorkshire’s most rural communities grow and prosper is to start its examinations by looking at the role played by farming, agriculture and the environment.

Established by North Yorkshire County Council - and the first of its kind nationally -  The Rural Commission operates completely independently and sets its own agenda and topics. Over the next 8 months commissioners will consider a broad range of subjects and evidence before forming recommendations for the county to consider.

Following their first meeting the Chair, The Very Rev John Dobson DL, Dean of Ripon, said: “Farming and the pressures on our agricultural businesses, as well as the environment they are working in, are the topics of the moment and our decision to examine them first reflects this.

“We are very much in listening mode and want therefore to hear from farmers, local residents and businesses on those issues they believe the commission needs to consider.

“What are the key issues which affect these areas? What needs to be done to ensure they can survive and thrive looking 10, 20 and 30 years ahead? Do you have practical ideas?

“We will be listening carefully to a broad range of views and considering the evidence so that later next year we can pull this baseline together and make meaningful recommendations on a vision for the future.

The commissioners will hear some evidence in person but will also be examining submissions made via email to ruralcommission@northyorks.gov.uk

The commissioners have the following sessions left:

  • Rural transport: 22 September
  • Education: 5 October
  • Energy and environment: 24 November

The Coronavirus pandemic will impact on the Commission’s timescales and recommendations will now not come forward until into next year.

Guidance on the best way to submit evidence and opinions, raise points of interest or highlight matters of importance is below.

Call for evidence guidelines

It would assist the Rural Commission if those submitting evidence adhere to the following guidelines. Each submission should:

  • State clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation, for example the submission could be headed ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxxxx’.
  • Be concise – we recommend no more than 3,000 words in length.
  • Begin with an executive summary in bullet point form of the main points made in the submission – we recommend no more than 400 words in length.
  • Include a brief introduction about yourself/your organisation and your reason for submitting evidence.
  • Have numbered paragraphs
  • Include any factual information you have to offer from which the commission might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses for their reactions
  • Include any recommendations for action by the Rural Commission, or others which you would like the commission to consider.

Notes on making a submission

Those making a submission to the Rural Commission should note the following:

  • The commission may publish the written evidence they receive on the internet (where it will be accessible to search engines).
  • If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so and explain your reasons for not wishing its disclosure.
  • The commission is not obliged to accept your submission as evidence, nor to publish any or all of the submission even if it has been accepted as evidence. This may occur where a submission is very long or contains material to which it is inappropriate.
  • You should be careful not to comment on matters currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should let us know how this might affect your submission.
  • Once submitted, no public use should be made of any submission prepared specifically for the commission unless you have first obtained permission from the commission.

Evidence should be submitted to ruralcommission@northyorks.gov.uk

Rural commission gallery

The population density in North Yorkshire is five times below the national average, with just 76 people per square mile compared to 430, which is the English average. View images of rural North Yorkshire.