O’Neill welcomes Executive approval of Rural Proofing Bill

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Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the Executive’s agreement to the final policy content of the proposed Rural Proofing Bill and that drafting of the bill should begin.

She said: “The proposed Rural Proofing Bill will be important legislation which I firmly believe will benefit hundreds of thousands of rural dwellers in the north.

“These proposals are designed to promote a fair and inclusive rural society by introducing a duty on government and local councils to consider the needs of our rural dwellers when developing policies and delivering public services.

“We want to put in place a mechanism that will require policy makers to assess whether policy proposals could have a different impact in rural areas compared with elsewhere. The proposals will advance the cause of equitable treatment for rural dwellers by addressing their needs as an integral part of government policy.”