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Vital Venues is calling all community buildings in Cornwall to join CRCC’s urgent campaign to call on the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs not to withdraw funding for the ACRE Network of rural community councils (RCCs).

The Network, of which Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) is a member, is the only nationwide organisation with a dedicated rural focus; building community resilience, strengthening local enterprise and supporting the most vulnerable in our society. In addition, we are the sole network that provides advice to the 80,000 volunteers who keep England’s 10,000 village halls alive.

The network has been supported by Government investment for decades. Now, however, we have been advised by civil servants to expect no further funding from Defra. To pull the Defra funding now would fracture the Network, undermine decades of government investment and leave the most vulnerable in rural areas with nowhere to go.

If funding is withdrawn, the impact on CRCC will affect our ability to support local initiatives such as Clean Cornwall, this year’s community transport work, the voluntary sector’s input to the Safe Guarding Adult’s Board and our delivery of the Fishing LAG Animateur, which has brought £1.3m funding in to Cornwall in the last 18 months. In other parts of England smaller RCC’s would cease trading altogether.

Please show your support for CRCC by signing the ACRE Network online petition now at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73418

Please urgently write to: Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR or email her at defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk to ask her not to withdraw funding from the ACRE Network. If you are able to give examples of how CRCC has made a difference to you, your community or organisation, this would be very helpful.

Thank you for your support.

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