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EMPOWERMENT…HAZEL STYLE
 

Community groups have until 9th January 2009 to apply for a slice of Hazel Blears' fab new £7.5million `empowerment fund'…So is empowerment for the people really here?  In yer dreams…

 


Have a look at the Prospectus for the Empowerment Fund (www.communities.gov.uk/documents/communities/pdf/1006294.pdf ) and it all sounds great, yet again…

 

It says that the "fund has been established against the background of the Government's aim to pass power into the hands of local communities so as to generate vibrant local democracy in every part of the country, and to give real control over local decisions and services to a wider pool of active citizens…"

 

Nice one…

 

And it continues…"Over the country a multitude of people are involved, acting in their community organisations with altruism and selflessness. These people deserve support…"

 

Nice one…So where do we sign up?  We don't.  Er, a bit further down in the Prospectus it quite clearly states…"The Empowerment Fund is not designed to support local organisations directly. While recognising that local or regional organisations play an important role in empowering communities they are not the focus of this fund…"

 

So who is the focus of the `Empowerment Fund'?  The entire £7.5million is to be divided amongst a mere 20-25 organisations who have to operate `across England' and whose turnover has to be double the grant applied for.  In other words to get your hands on the dosh you have to be a big national box ticking organisation with a turnover of at least £170,000 per year. And who actually decides which of these bloated organisations gets the grants?  Why the `Secretary of State'…so that will be Hazel then…

 

We repeat…"local organisations play an important role in empowering communities"…but you're not getting a cent!

 

P.S.  Hazel still hasn't replied to our open letter…

         see the letter here http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=10

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