Upcoming Events :
E:gen Breakfast Club
Wed 29 May 2013
Minerva House, 5 Montague Close, London , SE1 9BB
Essential services 'can be safeguarded in rural areas'
Mon 12 Dec 2011
Communities in rural areas are able to safeguard the future of essential services, according to one person who now runs their local shop and Post Office.
The Pantry in Peopleton, a village in Worcestershire, was up for closure in 2010 after it was put on the market by the owner, but residents decided to run it themselves instead of let it be shut down, the Evesham Journal reports.
Peter Luff, the local MP, acknowledged that keeping it operating requires lots of commitment, but said the venture is flourishing a year after the takeover.
He stated that The Pantry shows how people living in rural parts of the country can protect vital services that are in jeopardy.
Mr Luff said he is delighted the shop has become successful and hailed the community's "energy and imagination".
Steve Dexter, The Pantry's manager and sub-postmaster, added that the last year has been an exciting time for residents of Peopleton and described the business as a "focal point for the village".
The government's new Localism Act, which received Royal Assent last month, gives communities more of an opportunity to take over "treasured local assets", such as pubs and shops.
Joanna Bussell, a partner in Winckworth Sherwood's Local Government Team, said: "The new Localism Act has created a number of new important rights including the right to challenge and the right to build.
"This is a real opportunity for the local community to not only have a say over what facilities are available in the area but take responsibility for delivering them. WS are advising both local authorities and community groups on the effective use of these new powers."