Communities are “at their wits’ end” over Leader funding - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural and Community Development, Martin Kenny TD, told Minister Michael Ring that communities the length and breadth of this country are "at their wits’ end" over Leader funding.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Kenny said:
“The truth is that communities the length and breadth of the country are at their wits' end. I come across community projects that tell me that they will never again apply for Leader and go through this process because the way they are being treated is scandalous.
“I spoke this morning to somebody who works for one of the LAG projects. The person received notification from Pobal saying it had found a typo in a 27 page document and that it needed to be corrected before it could proceed.
“They had to search to find a number that was put down backwards. Say the number was 1,710; it had been put down as 1,701 in the document.
“That number was in the document about ten times but in one spot, Pobal found it was backwards and, therefore, it told the project it had to go through all this again.
“Who in the name of God is paying this person to sit down and study a thing in that degree of depth that they will find a typo and use it as an excuse to hold up funding for a community project?
“That is what it is doing the length and breadth of the country and it is time to call it out. It is not working and has not worked. It was a disaster from before it started and it is time to say that Leader needs to go back to the way it was in the old programme.”
Deputy Kenny had asked the Minister the reason why only 0.3% of funding under the Leader programme to 31 December 2017 had been allocated.
Note: Link to YouTube clip of debate: https://youtu.be/acUgM59j7gI