to start performing
will be surprised at the announcement that, in the first year
of Burngreave New Deal for Communities, only £175,000
was spent on projects out of a planned £2.1 million.
That’s something like a 92% underspend. So what’s
gone wrong? The Messenger spoke to Partnership Board Community
Reps Rose Ardron and Levi Ferguson.
important to say that the money is not lost, yet.” said
Rose. “We overestimated what could be done. We all felt
pushed into proving ourselves to Government Office and meeting
added “We couldn’t deliver big projects because
it was taking too long to get the statutory agencies to agree
about what level of service they should already provide. We
didn’t want to use New Deal money to replace services.
We tried to work in partnership with statutory agencies, but
they wanted the New Deal money to bail them out.”
At a recent
meeting with community members, Carol Cooper-Smith from Government
Office for Yorkshire and Humberside made clear that she wanted
to see Burngreave New Deal “start performing”
and spending money.
said that although New Deal did need to change services in
the long run, to make sure changes last, there was no need
for every community project to show how it changed mainstream.
New Deal for Communities hoped to encourage innovative community
projects which could be taken on by mainstream services later.
the reasons that Community Reps are more positive about the
future is because of their faith in new Director John Clark.
John has already found a flat in the area and has moved in,
despite having no gas or electricity, and is keen to get projects
moving. So what can the community do to support him?
community had already given loads of support to projects despite
all the frustrations;” said Rose, “we need to
bring people together, regeneration should be about the redistribution
of wealth and about equality. It’s about the community
having a strong joint agenda.”
need to come together and agree a joint strategy, then petition
Government, which is also struggling to bring about changes
in services,” said Levi. “If we don’t come
together then not only will there be an under-spend but the
community won’t get what it’s entitled to.”