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Conflict or Consensus? The Next Decade of Rural Policy


Sir Donald Curry, Chair of the Sustainable Farming and Food Delivery Group and author of the influential Curry Report, will be speaking at a major rural policy conference in Gloucestershire on 19 October entitled Conflict or Consensus? The Next Decade of Rural Policy.

This high profile event is organised by the Countryside and Community Research Institute and aims to look forward to the next decade of rural policy, taking into account the challenges and innovations in rural policy making as societal debates about the future use of land, climate change, demographic trends and the threat of resource peaks come together. It will consider the emergence at a national level of a form of consensus politics and the backdrop of financial retrenchment at all levels of government from the EU down.

The conference will apply a focus on four rural themes: Land and its Uses; Future of Food; Communities in Transition and Science, Technology and Rural Life. Current topics, such as the need for increased food production, biofuels, wildlife conservation, food security and sustainable production, aging rural communities, and the role of science in informing rural policy making, will all be under the spotlight. Unique technology will be used to present four live web seminars Webinars ahead of the conference to provide background and stimulate debate, which will be covered in more detail at the conference.

Organiser, Dr Matt Reed of the CCRI, says: The conference represents a great opportunity to highlight current issues affecting rural policymaking. We are delighted with our line-up of key speakers – all experts in the field of rural policy – who will facilitate stimulating topical debate.

The conference will be held at the Queens Hotel in Cheltenham. More information on this one-day conference, including the programme, can be found on the CCRI website at

CCRI Rural Policy Conference

The 2010 Rural Policy Conference follows on from the success of the 2009 Rural Policy Conference Rural Policy and Local Assets, which took place in October 2009 at the Queens Hotel. Information can be found at

This is the first time that the CCRI has used this technology to present live online seminars, which are called Webinars. The first two Webinars on Land and its uses and The future of food have already taken place. The third, Communities in transition takes place on 5 October, and the final one, Science, technology and rural life takes place on 12 October. The full-day conference takes place on 19 October.

Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI)

The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) is a collaboration between the University of Gloucestershire, the University of the West of England, Royal Agricultural College and Hartpury College. It is one of the leading specialist rural research centres in the country with programmes of research in rural community development, rural poverty, agri-environment policies, agri-tourism, local sustainability, local economic development, EU and UK rural development, and the planning system in the countryside. See for more information.

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