The impact of organizational, policy and programme changes on the effectiveness of market town partnerships
University of Exeter
Market town partnerships represent ‘localism’ in action. This paper argues that the ability of partnerships to help solve locally identified problems of rurality, and to contribute to policy development, has been compromised by changes in organizational and governance structures, programmes, and policy priorities. It is suggested that stable, long-term support for market town partnerships is necessary if they are to continue to address well-known, persistent problems of rurality in ways that reflect local needs. If government commitment to localism is to be more than rhetoric, however, policy makers must recognize the need for structural stability, a consistent approach, and programmes appropriate for partnerships, the members of which are often lay volunteers.
Paper given at the conference: 'Rural futures: dreams, dilemmas, dangers', University of Plymouth, 1-4th April 2008