Monday, 17 December 2012

European Funding not being spent as it should?.

The Western Mule reports that The body responsible for how EU money is spent is in urgent need of “radical restructuring”, an influential Assembly committee has found.

They go on to say...

The National Assembly’s Finance Committee said a review into how EU money was allocated by the Welsh European Funding Office (Wefo) should be carried out.
It raised concerns over “lack of leadership” and concerns about the monitoring of what effect the funds – totalling £1.8bn between 2007 and 2013 – were having on Welsh communities.
The criticism comes ahead of a Welsh Government-commissioned Guilford review, expected to be published early next year, into arrangements for accessing European Structural Funds for the next funding period.
Western Mail  December 17th 2012
They go on to say that...

The Finance Committee report makes 16 recommendations on the future of Wefo, including an “independent, unfettered and imaginative” review of implementation of Structural Fund programmes after 2013.It also recommends that the Welsh Government defines its strategic priorities for spending “at the earliest available opportunity”, and what it thinks the legacy of the spend would be.It should also review its processes for applicants applying for Wefo funding, the committee said, to ensure they were robust, and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.
Jocelyn Davies, the Plaid chairwoman of the Finance Committee. said
The committee has concerns over the lack of leadership, co-ordination and monitoring of what effect these funds are having on communities in Wales,” said Jocelyn Davies, the Plaid chairwoman of the Finance Committee.“Therefore we want to see a wholesale review of the Welsh European Funding Office’s purpose and role and a clear distinction of the Welsh Government’s strategic priorities in the future.

As with Westminster inspired Job Creation scheme I can't help feeling that the majority of real jobs that are created exist within the organisation running them.

And far to often there's a link with members of Poltical Parties holding senior positions within these organisations . In reality this is to be expected after all they have an Interest in these  to get involved in such schemes and it may often be for altruistic  reasons.

But we need to know the make up of organisations within receipt of such funds and we also need regular and accurare assessment of whether they are achieving their objectives

The Mule never has an article like this without a comment from Peter Black (his always by the telephone or do they have a direct link). But in this case He's almost worth quoting ..

More than £6bn has been invested in West Wales and the Valleys from European money and match funds by the UK, Welsh and local governments since European funding started – and yet Wales is still the poorest part of the UK, while Welsh Government targets for improving GDP and GVA have been missed.
“The Finance Committee’s report has identified a key issue behind this failure – a lack of leadership, coordination and monitoring of the effectiveness of this expenditure by the responsible agency and by implication government ministers.

We need such funding but once we receive it it is our responsibility to ensure that it is spent as efficiently as possible. . Throwing money at schemes that have lofty ideas bur fail to come up with the results they promise.and plays into the hands of those who seek to cut such funding
Once again I find myself calling for the Assembly to look at diverting a large pprtion of this funding to setting up cooperatives  and creating real jobs.

What we have now is nit working . Our AM's must insure that in future we get the best results from any extra funding we receive.

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