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Home > Environment and Rural > Regional Rural Policy > Rural Proofing & Mainstreaming

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Rural Proofing & Mainstreaming

Rural proofing aims to ensure that all policies and strategies take account of rural circumstances and needs. Government Offices, working with regional and local partners, will ensure that key rural policy principles are consistent with regional strategies and that they are mutually reinforcing with all regional strategies ‘rural proofed’.

‘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 systematically:

• Consider whether their policy is likely to have a different impact in rural areas, because of particular rural circumstances or needs
• 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.

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