The Government must do more to support rural communities, according to East Londonderry Assembly Candidate, Claire Sugden
Commenting, Miss Sugden said : “Rural communities are being forgotten about by the Government. I have been meeting lots of rural groups across East Londonderry and I am hearing this message repeatedly from them.
This week I was in Park visiting Learmount Community Development. Here, like in many other rural areas, essential services are being provided by the community and voluntary sector. Yet they are not receiving adequate funding which would enable them to do this effectively.
Rural communities can be isolated from services which are provided in built up areas. There are rural villages across East Londonderry where 3-4 thousand people live. Services such as the post office and the local GP surgery would not exist without the community groups who maintain them.
Public authorities need to start considering the needs of rural communities when developing policy and delivering services. These areas need to see a sustainable commitment to increasing support and providing funding which enables community and voluntary groups to carry out their roles effectively.
East Londonderry is a constituency with strong rural roots. Following the May Assembly election I will work closely with rural communities and the groups within them. At the moment they are not supported enough.”