Purpose – The key purpose of the paper is to consider the challenges facing local authorities in supporting sustainable rural settlements in their efforts to be enterprising and sustainable in confronted with increasingly severe downward pressure on local authority finances due to the recession; the long‐term trend of increased adult social care costs linked to a challenging demographic profile across rural England; and increasing expectations around service delivery arising from more discerning “e‐enabled” users of public services. Design/methodology/approach – This paper offers a structured reflection on the responses of a qualitative study of village sustainability, based on case studies of the inhabitants of three villages in Lincolnshire, England. The paper draws on responses by 70 voices to a series of workshops held in village halls and pubs. Findings – Significant work needs to be done at the local level, to support the transition from long‐standing, organic practice within communities to the creation of an infrastructure which can support the delivery of more services by communities themselves. Research limitations/implications – Workshop‐based approaches to gathering responses can allow for biased responses, and this study is limited to the views of self‐selecting actors in three villages. Originality/value – The paper examines the barriers and opportunities facing local communities and introduces the concept of community to community learning.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 18, 2013
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Citizen participation; Local economic development
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