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Patsy McGlone 25th January 2018

McGlone objects to wholesale cuts to rural development

SDLP Rural Affairs Spokesperson Patsy McGlone MLA has said that proposed cuts to rural development budgets in the Department if Finance’s Budget outlook would strip the heart from communities and set rural development back years.

The Mid Ulster MLA said, “The strong suspicion from many living in rural communities is that they are seen as an easy target for cuts. And it’s clearly based on a significant body of evidence. It’s potholes on rural roads that won’t be filled, it’s rural bus services that are first to be cut, it’s Infrastructure west of the Bann that has been neglected for decades.

“New proposals from the Department of Finance to cut rural community funding adds to that body of evidence. If these cuts are allowed to go ahead, unchallenged, they will rip the heart out of communities across the North, deplete services and diminish capacity within rural areas. That cannot be allowed to happen.

“These organisations are involved in critical work to develop skills, increase community cohesion, improve services and develop local areas.

“The SDLP will be stating our firm opposition to the proposals formally in our submission to the Department and we’ll continue to support those community networks doing critical work across the North.”

 

ENDS