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Doherty urges stakeholders to pro-actively influence shape of PEACE III fund‏

8 October, 2007

West Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty has moved to highlight the need for local District Councils and community groups to be now pro-actively influencing the shape and extent of PEACE III European Funding Programme for their area.

The Sinn Fein MP made the call following a meeting with Mr Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), in Belfast earlier today. Mr Doherty said,

"During the summer, I wrote and consulted with community groups throughout West Tyrone and one of the major issues of concern among the many groups that responded was the uncertainty about the future of Peace Funding.

"Following the meeting I held with SEUPB Chief Executive Pat Colgan today, I want to ensure that the people of no area lose out, through default, in securing PEACE III Funding.

"Following the next meeting of the full North/South Ministerial Council on 7 November, the full details of and criteria for PEACE III Programme applications will become known and draft applications will be accepted from this point onwards, with the closing date for draft applications in January before becoming live in June next year.

"Given the short the period left and given the fact that unlike previous Peace Programmes councils will now have to join in a cluster with other adjoining councils to submit an application to the SEUPB, it is imperative that all stakeholders in the process are now working with the utmost urgency to ensure that their respective Action Plans are as comprehensive as possible.

"As part of this process the cluster groups of Councils will have to show that they have consulted widely in putting together their respective action plans, so I would encourage Councils to ensure that the views and needs of the community sector are central in the formulation of their action plans.

"I would also encourage all community sector stakeholders to make their voices known by ensuring that their views and needs are fully reflected in the localized action plans.

"There is only a small window of opportunity to influence the shape and extent of the PEACE III Programme so I would encourage all stakeholders in the process to adopt a very pro-active approach towards this issue in the coming weeks." ENDS

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