Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming has said the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation programme is making a real difference in rural communities.
Following a question put to Minister Michelle O’Neill, Paul Fleming said,
“Minister Michelle O’Neill provided an update and impact assessment on the programme to address poverty in rural areas and from her reply, it shows that the programme is making a difference.
“The programme is on course to meet its £13 million Programme for Government target by 31 March 2015.
“This will deliver schemes such as youth employability and entrepreneurship projects; maximising access in rural areas (MARA) project; fuel poverty/energy efficiency work; the assisted rural travel scheme; the rural challenge programme; the connecting elderly rural isolated project; the farm family health checks programme; the rural bore wells scheme; support for the Rural Support charity; and support for rural community development work.
“These projects allow rural dwellers access to increased services by developing partnerships between government and statutory sectors and helping to address the high youth unemployment in rural areas.
“I am confident the minister is working hard to address rural inequalities and Sinn Féin will continue to support her to see more services introduced during the programme.
“This will enable rural communities to be protected and to begin to thrive again.”