Slieve Gullion Sinn Féin Councillor, Oonagh Magennis has expressed serious concern at the failure of The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to bid for any additional funding in the June monitoring round.
The Slieve Gullion area Councillor said,
“It is extremely disappointing to hear from our Assembly colleagues that DAERA has not bid for any money in the June monitoring round.
Over £29 million of capital funding has been unallocated, meanwhile we are facing a loss of £34 million from our Rural Development Budget as a consequence of Brexit.
Rural areas are set to suffer once again as a result of DAERA’s inability to forward plan to meet the needs of rural communities”.
The south Armagh Councillor continued,
“There are lots of ‘shovel ready’ projects to improve health and well-being in rural areas but they need the support of the DAERA Minister regarding adequate funding.
In January, DAERA also failed to bid for any of the additional £200 million announced by the Finance Minister. This is extremely frustrating for all rural groups dependent on rural development funding. This will result in lost opportunities for rural dwellers”.
Councillor Magennis concluded,
My Sinn Féin assembly colleagues will continue to raise this issue at the Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (AERA) Committee”.