Most people would not describe the community in which they live as ‘dying’, and it would be unfair to suggest that about any town or village.
However, many rural communities have lost many of the facilities that they value, and are struggling to maintain the viability of those facilities that are remaining.
Too often the shop or post office has suffered from a lack of business and closed down, the pub is struggling to stay open, the village school is under threat of closure due to lack of local children, and it is unsafe to walk along lanes where the car dominates.
A ‘living village’ is a community that:
- has sufficient population to sustain basic and convenient services including shops, pub, church, village hall, school and bus services
- has facilities to support every age group - young children, teenagers, families and older people – including health and education services
- is a place where people can walk or cycle around safely to get to those facilities
- has good local training and employment opportunities
- has enough space for people to grow food individually in decent size gardens, or together in allotments or community orchards
- has houses that people can afford to buy or rent, that are designed and developed to suit their needs
- is a great place to live, with a friendly and supportive local community that look out for one another and support each other