Sunday, February 13, 2011

FAIRER?? Scotland Fund

I was back on the case of the LibDem/SNP approach to the Fairer ?? Scotland Fund (FSF) at Council again this month!
As I reported before, the centralising of FSF means that local Neighbourhood Partnerships - ie local people! no longer have a formal role into important funding decisions in their local communities.
I was pleased to welcome local residents as well as community representatives from the North Edinburgh News (NEN) who made a great case for continuing funding for the NEN as part of a deputation to Council; watched on from the public gallery by some of our young people!
After hearing from the deputations I seconded the Labour Group Amendment rejecting the LibDem/SNP third party grant proposals and calling for a further report next month. In fact, had the opposition Labour Budget got through there would have been sufficient funding for all third party grants and FSF activities!!
The NEN already had massive funding cuts a couple of years ago but staff took a pay cut and a fantastic job has been done to generate advertising revenue from local organisations, BUT grant funding needed to be secured as well to keep the paper going! The paper is a great way for elected representatives from all parties to keep in touch with local people and a valuable source of local information and what's happening in our patch. Its closure will be a major loss for our community! Unbelievably, despite that... I was the only Forth Ward Councillor to oppose the funding cut. Says it all!

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