§ Q5. Mr. Gummer
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the Government's policy towards rural areas.
§ The Prime Minister
Our policy is to do everything possible to conserve the countryside and encourage its traditional industries, particularly agriculture, food processing and small businesses. We shall have regard to the need to keep village schools. The Government are also very much aware of the transport difficulties which face people, especially in remote areas. And we are very conscious of the complaints which have been made about the distribution of the rate support grant this year: the results have borne heavily on the shire counties.