Department for rural affairs call

 

A single Department should be given responsibility for co ordinating policy formulation on all issues impacting on rural development, the Rural Development Policy Advisory Group has said, reports Sean Mac Connell, Agriculture Correspondent.

In the report for the Department of Agriculture, the group suggests this Department should also prepare a rural development plan and be responsible for negotiating an appropriate EU and national funding package.

The group also suggests that an Interdepartmental Policy Committee on Rural Development and a National Rural Development Forum should be set up and effective regional arrangements put into place.

It says structures at a county level should have a major role in rural development and they must be capable of accommodating real partnership and ensuring equality of status for all ensuring equality of status for all participants.

The report outlined its policies and said that rural development was a public good which could not be left solely to the influence of market needs.