WORK is being done to help tackle the significant issues facing rural communities.

Earlier this year the Rural Projects Panel was set up by Tendring Council.

It looks into highway maintenance, rural transport, how to make more of rural post offices and pubs, improving broadband speeds, mains sewerage and addressing inland flooding.

Energy switching is also a top priority along with support for the rural communities to establish syndicates or to become part of a nationwide scheme to buy domestic heating oil more cheaply.

The panel is chaired by Great Bromley councillor Fred Nicholls who said the floods and power cuts caused after last year’s storms had demonstrated how vulnerable the rural areas were.

He said: “All the parish councils in Tendring – and I think there are 31 – were all told of our existence and can come to us with rural issues.”