LEADER bureaucracy must be tackled in order to deliver for communities – Nolan
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communities and Rural Development Carol Nolan TD has called on the Government to address the excessive bureaucracy associated with the LEADER programme so that the funding can reach rural communities in a timely manner. Teachta Nolan was speaking on the matter today in the Dáil.
Teachta Nolan said:
“Page 42 of the Programme for Government commits to work with local authorities, local action groups and local communities to ensure that LEADER funding delivers the maximum possible benefit for communities.
“One of the main concerns with the new programme is the stifling bureaucracy associated with the application and approval process.
“Recent figures from the Department show that only 335 projects have been approved to date, compared with 2,886 projects approved in the first two years of the previous programme.
“Only €8.25 million of a budget of €250 million has been approved, but only a portion of that has been directed to projects.
“It is clear that the current system is not delivering this much needed funding to communities.
“It is ironic that previously Ireland was held up as an example of best practice in the administration of LEADER funding.
“Other European countries have now implemented systems based on the community led model previously in practice in Ireland.
“The Government needs to acknowledge that the new changes have not worked.
“It must ensure that the issues affecting the LEADER programme are tackled immediately in order to free up this vital source of funding to deliver critical projects in rural areas.”