MP for East Londonderry Gregory Campbell has raised concerns that there is an under-representation of Unionist on a board responsible for allocating funding to the rural community through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.
Mr Campbell said: “It is obvious following the election of the social partner composition of the new Local Action Group Board in Causeway Coast and Glens, and the under-representation from the Unionist community that resulted, that no direction or consideration was given by the Minister to ensure that the Boards reflected the community background of the respective council area.
“This week in the Assembly, I raised with the Minister Michelle O’Neill the inequality that exists in the Social Partner composition of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group; that despite the Council area having a Unionist majority, some 80 percent of the social partners on the new Board are from the nationalist community.
“The Department (DARD) has earmarked £70 Million to assist with the improvement of the local rural community development, economy, job creation and tackling poverty through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (RDP). It is imperative that this is not reflected when allocating funding. Every effort must be made to ensure that there is an equitable distribution of funding between the Protestant and Catholic communities from the £9.60 Million that has been allocated to Causeway Coast and Glens.”