Voluntary-Statutory Partnership: Rural Community Councils
SOME country people are not completely happy about the transfer of so many services from voluntary to statutory control during the last twenty years. In general, these are to be found amongst the professional classes and countryhouse strata. The cottager seems little concerned that Red Cross and St. John Ambulances are seldom now seen on the roads and that Hospital Savings Schemes have vanished. The district nurse still ministers to the village and the service does not seem to have changed much since her transfer to the county council. Admittedly, there are grumbles about county council health and welfare services, but these are based on financial considerations and are more frequently directed not at the county council at all, but at the rural district council's rate demand notes which include the county council precept. In the householder's mind the cost of the county's health and welfare services themselves is not linked with the increase in rates because of this once-removed administration. A townsman appreciates that he has to bear much of the cost of the town's welfare services both because he pays directly and because town council services have always been our services. County council services reach the countryman from county hall, which may be remote in time, thought and distance. The quality of county council health and welfare services is seldom criticised and it would be generally admitted that rural areas are now better off than they were before nationalisation.