Rural White Paper Will have positive impact on rural communities
03 July 2012
Teresa Canavan, RDC, attended the launch, by Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill, of an action plan designed to address the many challenges facing rural communities both now and in the future.
The Rural White Paper Action Plan is the first cross-departmental initiative to focus entirely on rural issues in the north and will provide a framework to guide the work of the Executive in responding to rural challenges over the next ten years.
Speaking at the launch the Minister highlighted the significance of the. initiative and said “This is the first time an action plan has been created which includes commitments on rural issues from all government Departments. I am grateful to my Executive colleagues for their support in bringing forward this initiative and to stakeholders for their commitment and contribution to its development.
“Our rural communities face very real challenges, particularly in relation to matters such as health, transport, education, employment, access to services and the environment. This Action Plan demonstrates that the Executive recognises the important social and economic contribution that our rural areas make to wider society and that it is committed to taking real and meaningful action to help improve the quality of life of those living and working in our rural areas.”
The Minister added: “It is important now that we move forward to commence implementing the commitments made by Departments in the Action Plan and I will be working closely with my Executive colleagues to ensure that progress is made quickly. I believe that the Rural White Paper Action Plan can make a positive long term impact on our rural communities and help ensure the future sustainability of our rural areas.”
[Pictured:Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill was joined at the launch by RDC Deputy Chief Executive, Teresa Canavan, Dianne Ruddock, National Trust, Michael Hughes, Rural Community Network and Barclay Bell, Ulster Farmers Union.]