New Deal for Communities (NDC) is a £53million ten year project to improve the areas of Lower Kersal and Charlestown. It finishes next year, so Salford City Council has given "certain staff" at the NDC extra payments or `plusages' of 10% on top of their salaries so that they'll stay until the bitter end.
The Council Decision Notice of the 10% `plusage' payments states, "It is imperative to retain leadership and other staff capacity through to the conclusion of NDC in Charlestown and Lower Kersal…Failure to retain capacity could have serious implications for the success of this programme"…
The NDC has been criticised by residents in the Salford Star throughout it's latter life, and a report by the Manchester Independent Economic Review last year disclosed that there appeared to be "no significant association between NDC designation and improvement"…
The Report added that "hard evidence on impact is limited and it is therefore difficult to draw robust conclusions concerning the extent to which interventions have succeeded in reversing or ameliorating trends towards increased polarisation".
The report did say that the area hasn't got any worse but didn't say that it had got any better either. Which doesn't cover the £53million NDC project in glory. Even now, along Littleton Road in Charlestown and Lower Kersal, shops lie vacant and houses are being demolished with no developer in place, while a public campaign against plans for Douglas Green, near Whit Lane, has already been launched.
Meanwhile, according to published figures (to March 2008), the NDC is already spending a greater percentage of its budget on `Management and Administration' (11%) than on things like `Health' (6%), `Building Communities' (7%), `Crime and Community Safety' (7%) and `Business, Employment and Skills' (7%)… Up until March 2008 over £4million had been spent on `Management and Administration' by the NDC.
Councillor Bill Hinds, Salford City Council's lead member for customer and support services explasined: "The New Deal for Communities project has helped to bring around £50m of investment to Charlestown and Kersal and it's vital that we've got the right resources in place to complete the programme.This includes making sure there are staff to finish the work that's needed and I'm happy that offering them an incentive is the right way to help to do this."