‘Mainstreaming’ is a shorthand term for describing the
responsibility of all Departments to ensure that the needs of all
sections of society, including rural areas, are appropriately addressed in
policy-making and delivery.’ Rural proofing’ is a policy tool
to ensure that the principle of rural mainstreaming is delivered.
GOYH works with and through other bodies; public, private and voluntary;
local, regional and national. So policy making affecting rural areas should
mean all those involved in the design or delivery of policy apply rural
proofing. It is not only good practice but a mandatory part of the policy
making process so, as policies are developed, policy makers should
• Consider whether their policy is likely to have a different
impact in rural areas, because of particular rural circumstances or
• Make a proper assessment of those impacts, if they are likely
to be significant
• Adjust the policy, where appropriate, with solutions to meet
rural needs and circumstances
Rural proofing applies to all policies, programmes and initiatives and it
applies to both the design and delivery stages. It is a formal part of
the policy making impact assessment guidance.
The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) plays a key role nationally in
assisting Defra in the promotion and monitoring of effective rural proofing
performance, as do the Rural Affairs Forums at the regional level. The CRC
publishes guidance on rural proofing and progress in applying it.
Government Offices seek to ensure that all partners at both regional and
local levels, ‘think rural’ and are aware of their
responsibilities to rural proof their strategies and actions. The
Government Office for Yorkshire and The Humber (GOYH) checks policies,
strategies, plans and initiatives to ensure they are fair to, and work for,
the benefit of rural areas and those living and working there.