The Sparsity Partnership for Local Authorities Delivering Rural Services (SPARSE Rural) is a grouping of member Rural Local Authorities in England.
SPARSE Rural is a Sub Group of a Special Interest Group of the Local Government Association and has some 123 Local Authorities in membership, including County, District and Unitary Local Authorities.
SPARSE Rural seeks to represent the views of more than 12 million people living in the most rural areas of England on local government financial issues.
The area our member authorities cover exceeds two thirds of the country.
At SPARSE Rural, we believe that the problems of rural areas are often very much understated by policy makers and that these very rural areas are thus often significantly underfunded by government.
SPARSE Rural often works with the parliamentary Rural Fair Share Group a cross-party group of MPs and Peers at Westminster.
This group works to give a voice to local authorities working in rural England and to the people who live there on this fundamental issue.
Rural residents in predominantly rural England on average receive less from Government Grant and have to pay higher council tax than in urban areas.
SPARSE Rural is apolitical. It has three meetings of Councillors each year. Its Annual General Meeting is in November each year.
SPARSE is a part of the Rural Services Network – one of now only two organisations in England who deal exclusively with rural issues.