The SIPTU Local Development Company (LDC) Committee has called on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney, to support rural communities by ensuring that 10% of the next European Union (EU) funded Rural Development Programme (RDP) is allocated to LEADER. LEADER is a EU programme that aids the development of sustainable rural communities. According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government over 2,900 full time jobs were created and over 6,700 enterprises supported under the LEADER programme between 2011 and 2013. Chairperson of the SIPTU LDC Committee, Donie O’Leary, said: “Dereliction and decay already affect the main streets of many towns and villages in rural Ireland. The bigger the allocation to LEADER, the more jobs that will created in areas that have been hardest hit by unemployment and emigration.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, added: “Ministers Hogan and Coveney have a great opportunity to support job creation and communities in rural Ireland by ensuring LEADER receives a full 10% allocation from the Rural Development Programme.”