Government departments 'to be forced be forced to justify how policies help the countryside'

Reports that people who live in the countryside 'will be put at the centre of government policy-making, with every department forced be forced to justify how their policies help the countryside' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports that "a new rural ambassador and a ministerial task force will work across Whitehall to ensure that departments are putting the countryside first", the government has said. The paper says that the news "was welcomed by countryside campaigners who said it recognised that there were different solutions to the problems faced by people living in urban and rural areas".

The Guardian reports that house prices in some parts of the UK "could increase by as much as 8 per cent in 2016 as the recovery that has taken hold in London ripples out across the country". The paper says that the "strong jobs market in Cambridge and the area’s commuter links to London are forecast to put East Anglia at the forefront of growth, with an 8 per cent average rise, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors".

The Guardian also reports that the Australian federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, "has given the green light to expanding the Abbot point coal terminal in northern Queensland, on the condition that the dredge spoils are properly disposed of". The approval, "granted by the Department of Environment on Monday, lists a number of strict conditions that the project must fulfil before going ahead, including how and where the sediment can be moved", the paper says.

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