Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has published the 2019-2020 Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report.
The Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report is an integral part of the rural needs monitoring process as it provides a formal record of all Rural Needs Impact Assessments undertaken by public authorities.
Publishing the Report, Minister Poots said: “The introduction of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 was an important milestone in rural life here. It legislated across government and the NI public sector the requirement to consider how strategies and polices often have a different impact in rural areas than in urban areas. I am pleased to present the Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report covering the reporting period 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020. I would like to thank those public authorities who have contributed to this Annual Monitoring Report."
The impact of a policy or the delivery of a public service can be different for people in rural areas than in urban areas and it is important for public authorities to recognise that a one size fits all approach may not always be appropriate. The Rural Needs Impact Assessment process helps ensure that these issues are considered by public authorities when carrying out their functions.
Minister Poots concluded: “The report shows that consideration of rural needs is becoming more firmly embedded within public authorities and this is something I welcome. I recognise that there is still scope for more to be done to ensure that rural needs are taken account of in the development and implementation of policy and in the design and delivery of public services. My department will continue to work with public authorities to help them implement the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 effectively and help deliver positive and meaningful benefits for rural dwellers in the future."
Notes to editors:
- The Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 was introduced in 2016 with the aim of helping to ensure that consideration of the needs of people in rural areas became more firmly embedded within public authorities.
- The Act applies to Northern Ireland government departments, district councils and the other public authorities listed in the Schedule to the Act.
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