It reveals that people living in rural parts of Scotland have a high level of satisfaction with most services. Welcoming the publication of the report, minister for rural affairs Ross Finnie said:
'It is encouraging that rural residents had a high level of satisfaction with most services. One third of services covered by this survey - including post offices, electricity and water supplies, ambulance and fire services, and libraries - achieved satisfaction rates of 90 per cent or more.
'A further one third of services - including GPs, primary schools, police, and trades services - also rated highly, with satisfaction rates of between 80 per cent and 89 per cent.
'Progress is already being made in this area. I announced recently in the policy statement Rural Scotland: A new Approach that I have asked the Scottish National Rural Partnership to lead a working group to provide recommendations on ways in which services might be delivered differently in rural areas. I look forward to receiving their report later this year.'
1. The report, The Quality of Services in Rural Scotland, was written by System Three and is available from The Stationery Office, priced£10.
2. Other findings of the survey include:
A small number of 'core' services such as a shop, primary school, GP and community hall were seen as vital to maintaining a vibrant community. The importance of having a local grocery shop was highlighted, particularly for elderly people in rural areas who often do not own a car; and
Respondents were very pragmatic about what services could realistically be provided locally, and they are generally prepared to travel to services located elsewhere. Car-sharing arrangements to access services were common both amongst those with no car and those without daytime access to a car.