West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Rural voice will be safe guarded in new Super Council

Published: 7 April, 2014

Strabane District Council Chairperson Ruairí Mc Hugh has said that under the Reform of Public Administration (RPA) his party will ensure the voice and needs of the rural community will be safe guarded. The Sinn Fein Councillor was addressing an invited audience made up of prominent business, religious and community leaders at a Sinn Féin breakfast event in An Culturlann centre in Derry city. The event was organised to outline Sinn Féin's vision for the new Derry and Strabane Super council. The event was also addressed by Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness and Councillor Paul Flemming representing Derry Sinn Féin. Councillor Mc Hugh said

'' The new Derry and Strabane Super Council area will be 35% rural and there is a fear amongst the rural community that we will be swallowed up by the existing Derry City Council. For Sinn Féin this will present both opportunities and challenges.

' Sinn Féin will ensure that every constituent in the new council area will have equal access to services from Eglinton to Erganagh, from the Fountain estate to the Ballycolman estate and from Culmore to Castlederg.

' Crucially all services will be rural proofed, and Sinn Féin intend to bring forward legislation to ensure rural proofing becomes a legal requirement of all public bodies under RPA.

'Sinn Féin has taken on the DARD ministry during the last two terms of the Executive and we have taken a very focused and strategic approach to rural development.

'The Rural Development Fund has allocated almost £19million to the North west of which £13million has already been invested.Sinn Féin believes in harnessing what rural Ireland has to offer rather than looking at how it can be targeted for cuts. ' We believe in vibrant and resourced rural communities that have equality of access to essential services such as schools, healthcare, sports, leisure, post offices and importantly an accountable and community based policing service.