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Social Development Minister has left Neighbourhood Renewal groups in the dark – Ní Chuilín

21 January, 2011 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast and member of the Social Development committee at Stromont, Carál Ní Chulín has stated that there needs to be immediate clarity from the Minister of Social Development, Alex Attwood, as to the criteria and time span for Neighbourhood Renewal Funding applications.

Speaking today Ms Ní Chuilín said:

“Serious concerns have arisen only days before the closing date for applications to the Neighbourhood Renewal programme. Community groups have not been made aware of vital criteria that is essential to their applications.

“There has been no clarity on whether the funding is for one or four years, on what is the criteria for assessment or  if the department using previously submitted data to assess the applicants, or indeed will there be cuts to the amount of funding available?

“Any application for funding needs careful consideration by the applicant in order to ensure maximum success and continuity of projects and employment posts.

“Without the correct and proper guidance from the Department these groups have essentially been left to shoot in the dark and can only hope that they get the required funding.

“This is absolutely no way to run a funding programme. In these economic times the Minister is playing russian roulette with peoples jobs and with community service provision. He must, over the space of this weekend, provide clarity to these immediate and pressing issues.”

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