Rural Deprivation is nothing new, but in the country’s tight financial climate it can often be rural areas that suffer most. I don’t think that is fair. So, with many Parliamentary colleagues from all shades of political opinion, I am fighting for fair shares in the shires. The effort is also backed by the Rural Services Network, an organisation established to safeguard services in the countryside. Some progress has already been made in persuading the Government to provide additional help. But more needs to be done. That is why I worked with the Rural Fair Shares group to assemble a nationwide petition with sufficient signatures to make the Government sit up and take notice. The signatures we gathered were way above the average. Rural Services Network has Sedgemoor and West Somerset councils among its active members.