Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (04 September 2019) launched an online survey seeking the views of the public on key challenges and opportunities for rural Ireland over the coming five years.
The survey is part of a consultation process being undertaken by the Department of Rural and Community Development to inform the development of a new, whole-of-Government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2020-2025.
Speaking today, Minister Ring said: “This survey is an opportunity for people to have their say on issues which impact rural communities. It allows respondents to prioritise what they see as the main challenges and opportunities in relation to rural Ireland, covering areas such as employment opportunities, Brexit, broadband connectivity, transport infrastructure and access to public services and facilities.
“People living, working, and raising families in rural areas throughout the country have important insights into both the challenges which impact on rural living, and the opportunities available to rural areas. These insights will contribute to informing Government policy for rural Ireland over the next five years.”
The new policy will be forward-looking, building on the progress which has been made in the last three years through the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, and will reflect the changing nature of work, and changing society we live in.
The new policy will take account of demographic trends within rural communities, the increased focus on climate change, Brexit and the changing nature of jobs and how we work. It will focus on strengthening rural communities and rural economies, and will identify policy measures which need to be put in place in order to achieve this objective.
Minister Ring continued:
“While change brings challenges, it also brings opportunity, and we need to take full advantage of the opportunities available to strengthen our rural economies and communities for the future.
“Engagement from the public, particularly those living and working in rural Ireland, is vital to assist us in developing this new policy and to identify policy measures which need to be put in place now to support rural areas for the future. I strongly encourage everyone to participate in this survey, to help us to ensure that our rural areas realise their full potential.”
The public consultation survey is available online here until Friday 11 October 2019.