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Rural views wanted

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By Fiona Reid
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Rural views wanted

PEOPLE living in rural parts of Dumfries and Galloway are being asked to share their experiences of the cost of living crisis.

The Rural Exchange portal has been developed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to give a voice to people living and working in rural and island areas.

As well as lived experiences, the hosts are keen to gather ideas for improvements to government policies and services.

There will also be polls on topical issues related to rural and island economies and communities, such as local democracy, business support for SMEs and transport infrastructure.

Jane Atterton, from SRUC, is urging people in Dumfries and Galloway to contribute.

She said: “As researchers we rely on official secondary data sources, but these are not always suitable for rural and island areas – often they are not available on a local enough geographical scale and are not up to date enough.

“What we are often missing is ‘grassroots’ evidence on peoples’ lived experiences and how service provision or a particular policy intervention affects their everyday lives.

“We are hoping to change that with the Rural Exchange by providing a vehicle for rural and island residents to more directly shape the research we are doing and the policy recommendations we put forward.

For more information or to take part in a poll, visit: www.ruralexchange.scot.

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