The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has today published the fifth Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report.
The Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 was introduced to help deliver fairer outcomes for rural communities in Northern Ireland by ensuring that the social and economic needs of people in rural areas are given due regard to by public authorities. The Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report provides a record of all Rural Needs Impact Assessments undertaken by public authorities and contains information on how rural needs have been considered by public authorities when developing and implementing policies and in the design and delivery of public services.
DAERA's Director of Rural Affairs, Teresa O'Neill, said: "The report demonstrates that the Rural Needs Impact Assessment process is now well established within public authorities and that public authorities are taking steps to identify and address the particular needs of rural communities. Rural communities often face unique challenges due to geographical isolation including poor quality broadband, increased transport costs and difficulties in accessing public services and therefore a different approach is often required to address the particular needs of people in rural areas to ensure that rural dwellers are not disadvantaged. DAERA will continue to work with public authorities to help ensure that the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 is implemented effectively and delivers better outcomes for rural dwellers in the future."
A copy of the Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report April 2021 - March 2022 is available at Rural Needs Annual Monitoring Report 1 April 2021-31 March 2022