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The Commission for Rural Communities was established as a division of the Countryside Agency on 1 April 2005, as a result of Defra's Rural Strategy, and became an Non-Departmental Public Body on 1 October 2006, following the enactment of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

The Commission provides well-informed, independent advice to government and ensures that policies reflect the real needs of people living and working in rural England, with a particular focus on tackling disadvantage.

The Commission has three key functions:

Rural advocate: the voice for rural people, businesses and communities

Expert adviser: giving evidence-based, objective advice to government and others.

Independent watchdog: monitoring and reporting on the delivery of policies nationally, regionally and locally.

State of the Countryside Report 2008 Edit

On 17th July 2008 the Commission published the 10th edition of their annual 'State of the Countryside Report'.

State of the Countryside provides a comprehensive description of social, economic and environmental conditions and changes across rural England, highlighting the main challenges and future trends for government and other organisations.

2008's report takes the opportunity to consider the changes taking place in rural England, looking forward to what the future might hold for rural communities and reflecting on what has remained important since the report was first published in 1999.

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