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Understanding the additional costs of delivering services to rural communites - RE0203

Description
Aim
The aim of the research is to further understanding of the relationship between geodemographic factors at a locality level in England and unavoidable cost structures in the delivery of key fixed and distributed public services. The research has central relevance to informing policy development on Rural Affairs.

Main Objective.
To deliver:
a review and analysis of evidence to date on cost difference reported in selected sectors;
any evidence of ‘coping strategies’ reported (e.g. service configuration or scope);
application of research findings to provide initial estimates (in advance of detailed modelling) of cost effects on selected services in rural areas - with assumptions noted;
a methodological blueprint for carrying out studies into rural cost differences; and
recommendations on future research priorities in this area.

Policy Relevance & Use of Results

The research will be used to support DEFRA’s work on establishing a strategy for rural service delivery. Rural policy makers often assume that the costs of delivering services to rural areas will be higher [per capita] than in urban areas – and that the more remote or deprived the area, the higher the cost. Intuitively and anecdotally this may seem right, but this does not sit well with the need to develop Government policy on the basis of evidence. The study will help to test the assumption.
Objective
Four formal objectives to note. To complete:
1. a review of literature & synthesis of evidence of cost difference reported and research methods used in such studies. Also evidence of ‘coping strategies’ reported (e.g. service configuration or scope);
2. application of research findings to provide initial estimates (in advance of detailed modelling) of cost effects on selected services in rural areas - with assumptions noted;
3. a methodological blueprint for carrying out studies into rural cost differences; and recommendations on future research priorities in this area and future routine data collection; and
4. a Briefing Paper and two half-day workshops for dissmanation of research findings.

Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2003

Cost: £31,600
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Secta MSA Ferndale
Keywords
Environment              
Rural Amenities              
Rural Development              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs