Community projects under threat

 

A chara, – It is unfortunate that the academics and others who allowed their names to be attached to the letter (November 25th) did not make any attempt to contact the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to ascertain the facts before doing so.

Minister of State, John Curran TD, has repeatedly made clear to the groups concerned and on the Dáil record that he would reasonably expect the majority of projects to move into the new Local and Community Development Programme. However, some Community Development Projects are not dependent solely on funding provided by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and may decide to continue in existence outside the new programme. The department cannot “close” any of these companies, or indeed any independent legal entity.

The new Local and Community Development Programme will replace two existing community development/social inclusion programmes and will bring together Community Development Projects and local development companies in a way that simplifies delivery structures.

Moreover, the new programme will emphasise greater effectiveness and require local delivery agencies to achieve tangible, positive outcomes for the communities that they serve in a far more transparent, accountable and measurable way.

The new programme will harness the expertise and voluntary effort of not only those now involved in Community Development Projects, but also of those involved in other local development or social inclusion activity.

The new implementation structures have been explained fully. Both Mr Curran and Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív are committed to implementing the new programme in the most effective and sympathetic way, that will see the work of the vast majority of Community Development Projects continue to be funded. – Is mise,

LAYLA de COGAN CHIN,

Media Adviser,

Department of Community,

Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs,

Dublin 2.