Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
104. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if additional rural recreational officers will be employed; and if so, if it will be ensured they are allocated according to the work plans being operated by the local development companies. [38170/21]
The Walks Scheme, which is funded by my Department, contracts landholders to undertake maintenance work on National Waymarked Ways and other priority trails that traverse their lands. The landholders receive modest payments for maintenance work undertaken in line with agreed work plans.
My Department commissioned an external review of the Walks Scheme to examine the delivery and strategic development of the Scheme, and assess the role and resourcing of the Rural Recreation Officer (RRO) posts throughout the country. The reviewers were also required to consider the level of funding provided to the Local Development Companies to deliver the scheme.
The final report was received by my Department this week and I expect to be in a position to publish the report after the contents have been fully considered. The recommendations contained in the review will inform decisions on the ongoing delivery and further strategic expansion of the scheme, including the resourcing of Local Development Companies and any additional Rural Recreation Officer positions.