Action to keep young people in villages

RURAL communities are in danger of dying out as young people are moving out of villages in droves. According to a report by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) there are now 400,000 fewer young people in rural areas than 20 years ago. People aged 2

RURAL communities are in danger of dying out as young people are moving out of villages in droves.According to a report by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) there are now 400,000 fewer young people in rural areas than 20 years ago.People aged 20-24 are disappearing most rapidly from Sedgemoor. There are 1,000 less people in their early 20s living in the district compared to 20 years ago.The average age of a Sedgemoor resident is 41 and the number of 55-59 year olds in the district increased the most over the same time period. Stuart Burgess, spokesman for the CRC, said: "The loss of young people is a real threat to the future diversity and sustainability of rural communities."Much more needs to be done to retain young people and provide them with the opportunities and incentives to return to their roots if they choose."The report also showed that the average age of people in rural areas is increasing and is now almost six years higher than in urban areas.Mr Burgess added: "This is pointing towards a demographic divide between rural and urban areas and is putting a severe strain on the viability of rural services, such as schools, the provision of youth services, healthcare and housing."There are around 110,000 people living in the district, but less than nine per cent are in their 20s.Housing and homeless charity, Shelter, believes the trend is due to rising house prices.A spokesman for the charity said: "Spiralling house prices and a boom in second home ownership means many young people have been forced to abandon the villages they grew up in for a chance at getting on the property ladder."Without young people, our beloved rural communities will die. The only way to breathe more new life in keep young people in the countryside is by building more affordable homes.


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