Today it has felt as if spring has arrived. In North West Durham we are lucky to have some of the most picturesque landscapes in Great Britain. However, this Labour government does not seem to have understood the rural communities nor rural issues. Professor Robert Huggins, who devised and compiled the UK Competitiveness Index, suggested that urban development has been at the expense of rural areas, stating that 'local economies in rural areas are suffering from declining competitiveness.' Perhaps it's not just time for a change of season, but also a time for a change in government.