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DETR WANTS£1BN BOOST FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE

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John Prescott, the environment secretary, is urging the treasury to pump almost£1bn into rural affairs over three ...
John Prescott, the environment secretary, is urging the treasury to pump almost£1bn into rural affairs over three years, according to The Financial Times (p3).

The DETR is bidding for an extra£450m to add to the existing three-year spend of£540m.

A leaked draft of a DETR consultation document discusses the bid and recognises that 'there are significant numbers of people experiencing poverty in rural areas, even in relatively afluent ones.'

It adds: ' ...there is an increasing disparity between the economic performance of the most disadvantaged rural areas and elsewhere.'

The DETR bid is being considered as part of the chancellor's spending review, which will be completed in the summer. The outcome of the review will shape the forthcoming rural white paper.

An aide to Mr Prescott said yesterday: 'There is a need to demonstrate our commitment to the countryside. This sends a signal of what's to come in the white paper.'

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