Tuesday, 16 July 2013 20:00

Rural-proofing guide unveiled at last

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural-proofing guide unveiled at last

DEFRA has unveiled long-awaited national guidelines to help government departments 'rural-proof' their policies.

The 17-page document was published on Tuesday (16 July).

It aims to ensure that ministers and civil servants take into account the impact of their policies on rural areas.

In doing so, the goal is to avoid unintended consequences.

Defra says the rural proofing guidelines are designed to assist national policy makers with decision-taking.

They also seek to address the needs and interests of rural communities and businesses.

"Virtually all policies impact upon rural communities," says the document.

"Rural proofing helps achieve good economic, environmental and social solutions, to contribute to growth."

Publication of the guidelines was expected last year.

The government's Rural Statement, unveiled last September, said Defra would publish a new, practical government-wide rural proofing package in autumn 2012.

But no package materialised, prompting Defra minister Defra minister Richard Benyon to state in December that the guidelines were still being developed.

A shorter guide to rural-proofing was then published in May.

The full guidelines can be downloaded here.

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