McAleer urges rural community to have their say on new rural policy
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has urged rural dwellers and community groups to have their say on the new Rural Policy Framework.
Declan McAleer said:
“As a consequence of leaving the EU Rural Development Programme (RDP) due to Brexit, we are now required to develop a rural policy for the north.
“The RDP was a key building block for our rural communities and provided vital support over many years for the development of a network of community centres, village renewal schemes and the creation of many small businesses and employment opportunities.
“I have been lobbying the DAERA Minister for the past year for progress on a replacement programme and I am glad to note that many of the objectives of the EU RDP are reflected in the new draft programme.
“However, funding is a serious concern and despite British government assurances that they will replace the lost EU funding there has been no progress.
“The new draft programme incorporates five elements: the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship; sustainable rural tourism; promoting health and well-being; increasing employment opportunities and improving connectivity.
“The new policy must effective and tailored to meet the social and economic needs of our rural communities.
“I strongly encourage local groups and rural dwellers to have their say in the consultation which is open until 6th September.
Link to respond to consultation https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/daera-central-services-and-rural-affairs/rural-policy-framework/.”