ONS estimates for 2009 1 suggest that 14% of the local population live in dispersed rural areas or villages, this compares to 10% for England as a whole and 20% for the South West.
Some rural areas have experienced the greatest proportion of population ageing in the authority.
Access to services
A 2009 study on access to rural services 2 made a number of obervations about the changing nature of rural life in Bath and North East Somerset, particularly with regards acces to services:
- Rural communities have experienced significant social change over the last couple of decades.
- Very often villages do not offer adequate services for the local community to access, which forces people to travel out of their community to access services such as doctor’s surgeries, schools, shops and post offices.
- For many, private transport, either a car or taxi, is the only way of accessing these services. The increased costs of accessing services together with the increased costs of housing has led to rural living becoming less and less affordable, and for some completely unaffordable.
- This is particularly a problem for older people, families with young children and young people.
Although Socio-economic Inequality is characterised as a feature of the urban environment, a proportion of rural communities also experience inequalities. Analysis of some of the lowest-income households in Bath and North East Somerset suggests that between 8% (Chew Valley South) and 18% (Bathavon West) of residents in wards outside the city of Bath and the Market Towns are in receipt of income related support or tax credits.4.
Although the methods of data collection do not allow the identification of individuals, it is likely that these populations will experience similar risks to those living in larger, more deprived communities.
Health and Care
- Chew Valley Lake
- Blagdon Lake
- Cleaves Wood
- Lone Dole Wood
- Harptree Court
- Monkswood Valley
- 1. ONS (2009), Rural/Urban Local Authority Classification (England) http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/products/area-classifications/rural-urban-definition-and-la/rural-urban-local-authority--la--classification--england-/index.html (accessed 30/04/13) local analysis
- 2. Community Action (2009) Access to Rural Services Within Bath and North East Somerset http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sitedocuments/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Evidence-Base/Other/AccesstoRuralServicesReport.pdf (Accessed 18/10/13)
- 3. Freeman, H (2011) Voicebox 19 - Internet Usage Bath and North East Somerset Council
- 4. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2013) Welfare Reform Impact Assessment, in-house analysis.
- 5. GreenLINK (2011) Understanding the Contribution Parks and Green Spaces can make to Improving People’s Lives. Health and Wellbeing (downloaded 13/04/2012) http://www.green-space.org.uk/resources/GreenLINK/index.php
- 6. Sirona (2008-11) Stop smoking database, in-house analysis
- 7. Bath and North East Somerset Council and NHS (September 2011) Clinical Commissioning Committee Summary Sheet: Carers – Update on Carers Support Services and Priorities
- 8. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC) (2012) Statistics about local species, habitats and protected sites for the West of England and Bath and North East Somerset