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The British countryside is painted either as a rustic idyll or a dull surrogate for the excitement of city life, depending upon your taste. For me it was always the latter. I was born and raised in Somerset, and from about as early as I can remember I desired to get away.

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This was generally passed on to me in regards to having children: “you will not wish to bring children up in the city”. And overall, economic outcomes do tend to be much better for those living in rural locations than for those living in cities. 15% of households in rural locations live in relative poverty, for example, compared to 22% in metropolitan locations.

Yet among the lessons from the Brexit referendum was the level to which data can belie reality. The pre-referendum period now feels like ancient history, but Britain in the first half of 2016 was stated to be on the ‘roadway to healing’ after a long economic downturn. News broadcasts were filled with good cheer about the ‘record number of people’ in work, and so on.

Certainly, a striking phenomenon in the consequences of the referendum was the wave of liberal journalists voyaging to the north of England in a manner similar to 1930s depression-era composing finding, in fact, that a number of their fellow countrymen were leading unhappy and unfulfilling lives. If anyone had actually troubled to look, they would have seen this had actually been true all along.</p

Engish Village

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This mindset is years out of date, if it was ever precise in the first place. A 2017 joint report by the Local Government Association and Public Health England notes that “within even the most wealthy [rural] locations, there can be real hardship, deprivation, ill health and inequalities”, in specific due to seasonal work and bad access to services.

In Scotland almost a quarter of post workplaces have actually closed because 2002. Rural neighborhoods suffer from poorer gain access to to even apparently universal services: while 98% of the metropolitan population live within four kilometres of a GP surgery, the figure is 80 percent for those living in rural locations. Moreover, just 55% of rural households live within 8 kilometres of a healthcare facility, compared to 97% of metropolitan households.

Yet in rural locations broadband is often irregular during the time it’s required to compose this short article my Somerset broadband has dropped off two times, for 10 minutes at a time. According to Ofcom, rural broadband speeds been available in at around 13.7 Mbps, which is more than three times slower than metropolitan locations.

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Internet gain access to is just one consider determining the opportunities available to people. Opportunity also correlates with a university education. In the town I grew up in, unless a position in the family service waited for once you finished school, to get a well-paying job you had to leave. When youths choose to invest their most productive years elsewhere it accelerates the decline of rural economies.

People aged 45 years and above now make up more than half of those living in rural locations in metropolitan locations it is closer to 40%. A lot of these older homeowners depend on public transport, which has suffered extreme cuts in rural locations recently due to the unprofitability of isolated services.

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In 2015 Somerset County Council announced it would be scrapping Saturday Park and Flight services in Taunton, and Webberbus, among Somerset’s greatest bus operators, collapsed entirely in 2016, leading to the disappearance of 24 services throughout the county. Provider like these are a lifeline for the senior, who count on regional buses to visit shops and gain access to services without them they’re separated.

For something, specific kinds of drugs especially marijuana were even more widespread in the corner of Somerset I grew up in than when I transferred to Nottingham in my early twenties, a city that was apparently the ‘weapon crime capital’ of the UK. Moreover, recently there have actually been reports of drug gangs significantly targeting rural neighborhoods to enhance earnings.

Maybe due to the fact that there is less to do in the countryside, especially in winter season, making use of recreational drugs has a more apparent appeal. The West Country smokes more marijuana than anywhere else in the UK. Marijuana growers also appear to prefer rural to metropolitan locations, with 55,166 plant seizures in the north west in 2017 compared to 19,397 in London.

The air is less polluted than in the city. Criminal activity rates are lower. And while the sense of regional community fetishised by outsiders might be exaggerated, in many locations, for much better or even worse (you know everybody, but everybody knows you), it does exist. Yet this idyllic view of cleaner, safer countryside neighborhoods ignores a darker side.

Educational attainment amongst disadvantaged children is far even worse in rural and coastal locations London boroughs control the Social Mobility Commission’s list of schools in which poorer students accomplish the very best results. And for those without a university education, London life a minimum of offers the remote possibility of an internship to get a foot in the door at a business.

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In common with the country’s ‘left behind’ towns, already valuable little interest has been shown in exploring the deprivations of the British countryside. Turn on a tv set and rural life is illustrated as an agreeable and serene Eden green fields and picturesque country lanes confined by hedges and songbirds where one can hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, and travel to a nearby retail park on the weekend, to paraphrase Marx.

Rural neighborhoods have their own share of social issues; the idea of the ‘distressed’ central city versus ‘our green and enjoyable land’ is hopelessly old. I must know like many youths I made the reverse journey to the one generally illustrated in pop culture: I left to London to get away.