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Incompetence leads to withdrawal of money for youth groups

2 July, 2004

Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson, Newry Armagh MLA Davy Hyland has criticised the Department of Education after it emerged that the Southern Education Library Board was forced to withdraw a FACELIFT scheme that it had already advertised that would enable youth groups to carry out external improvements because of departmental incompetence.

Mr Hyland said:"The withdrawal of this FACELIFT scheme in the SELB area because of an 'administrative error' within the Department of Education is a disgrace. It means that despite adverts already appearing in the press alerting registered youth groups to access this money to improve the appearance of their premises that theses groups will now be left disappointed because of incompetence.

"There are not enough resources going into the youth services full stop. This is a slap in the face for youth groups operating in the SELB area that would have been able to put this money to good use.

"It is important to recognise that improving the appearance of youth group premises can play an important role in raising self esteem and self respect among young people, many of whom are marginalised within their communities.

"The contribution made by these youth groups is enormous and we need to ensure that hopes are not raised and then dashed." ENDS

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