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Red Tape Holding Up Leader Funding Access For Many Groups

By August 28, 2017No Comments

The whole system of how Leader funding is accessed must be reviewed in light of the revelation that so far a sum of only 118,000 Euro has been allocated out of a total budget of 220 million Euro.
Last week I commented on the spin and bluster from the Government in relation to what they claimed had been achieved under the Rural Development Plan. At the moment every politician in the country is inundated with community groups trying to access Leader funding but the paperwork red tape and bureaucracy is preventing any progress and even county councils are left scratching their heads at how this scheme is set up.
This Government is great for announcing things but it’s a different story when it comes to drawing down money and this seems to be a box ticking exercise. There are a lot of community groups who have excellent ideas that would contribute to the revitalisation of rural Ireland. This funding is needed urgently but the way it is being run at the moment, a system dreamt up by civil servants who don’t seem to understand what is happening on the ground, is totally unacceptable.
There is not much point in announcing funding if you can’t access it, and this funding will be sent back to Europe if it is not used. I would ask the question why are our own people putting obstacles in the way of the work of voluntary groups who might be creating some employment? Minister Ring has been talking the talk in recent weeks and it is now time he walked the walk.