West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

DARD's Anti Poverty programme 'making a difference' in rural areas - Mc Aleer

Published: 7 November, 2014

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said that the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation programme is making a difference in rural communities. Mr McAleer said, "I asked Minister Michelle O'Neill for an update and impact assessment on the programme to address poverty in rural areas and was happy with the reply that shows that the programme is making a difference. In her response, Minister O Neill said, "The programme is on course to meet its £13 million Programme for Government target by 31 March 2015 by delivering schemes such youth employability and entrepreneurship programmes; the 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 are allowing 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 that the Minister is working hard to address rural inequalities and will continue to work with her in order to see more services introduced during the programme so that rural communities can be protected and begin to thrive again."