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Community groups have no faith in DEL minister - Anderson

18 February, 2015 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said community groups have no faith in employment and learning minister Stephen Farry over his handling of access to the European Social Fund. 

Speaking after meeting with representatives from the sector at Stormont, Ms Anderson said; 

"Due to a lack of effective guidelines on what exactly was required to support applications, community and voluntary sector groups had their applications for funding returned. 

"The groups were told there were concerns about management accounts, financial capability and value for money. 

"I met with the groups at Stormont this week to discuss their concerns and there was a real sense of anger coming from the community and voluntary sector. 

"The groups have no faith in the employment and learning minister, Stephen Farry's handling of this situation. 

"The fact that the group have now received a letter from the department inviting them to resubmit applications recognises the gravity of the situation. However, action is needed to ensure this fundamentally flawed application process is improved. 

"Rather than forcing these groups to resubmit their applications, I am calling on the minister to move all 138 groups to the second phase of the application process. 

"My party colleague Bronywn McGahan will meet with DEL officials this week to discuss the concerns of the community and voluntary sector regarding access to the European Social Fund."

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