12/11/2003

Craigmillar Partnership Questions @ 1:42 pm

Having just recieved various comments to my stance on the Craigmillar Partnership and accusing me of being manipulated into an anti-Craigmillar Partnership stance I felt I should put my position clearly.

Firstly I haven’t been, nor do I need to be, “manipulated” as you put it into questioning the Partnership – the partnerships annual report and annual review prompt a number of important questions which, forgive me if you think I’m wrong, that the people of Craigmillar have the right, NO an obligation to ask.

To ask these questions is not to be against the partnership It is to challenge the whole idea that the partnership can do and say whatever it wants without the people of craigmillar saying “hang on a minute why have you done that?” and “what benefit does it bring the people of craigmillar?”

Let us look at the questions that i’ve asked and why i’ve asked them.

Firstly, SIP funding for Craigmillar…

Edinburgh council website reports the the Policy And Resources Committee/Urban Regeneration Subcommittee which states that the partnership would recieve 1.765million in SIP funding for the perion of 2002/2003 , whereas in the Annual Report we are told that the Parnetship recieved £1,805,000.

From the SIP funding we are told in their annual Reveiw that in 2002/2003 they allocated £164,000 to the Craigmillar Partnership (i.e. themselves) on page 18 of their accounts it lists this figure as £227,038

On page 9 of their annual accounts the Total Income for the partnership is listed as £517,417 on page 13 in the detailed financial breakdown this same value is listed as £519,081.

In the executive summary to the annual report we are told “This year we distributed £1.765m in funding to 20 local projects,” in the annual review we are told that total SIP funding allocation is 1,754,275.

I have asked them which of these values is correct? How dare I be so insolent!

The partnerships reply is that the Auditors have signed off on the accounts and therfore I should be happy and not worry my pretty little head.

Secondly, I’ve asked where the funding came from for the Brussels trip? to be honest thats a simple enough question which the Partnership has tried to twist into “well why shouldn’t people from craigmillar go to brussels?” Inherently I don’t have a problem with it they’ve not even bothered to tell us how much it cost – if we assume £500 for each person (which i think is conservative considering cost of flights, subsistance and accomodation in one of Europes most expensive cities for one week) that amounts to £10000 pounds – now, is it more important to craigmillar that 20 people go to Brussels than the £8000 allocated to the Adult Student Link?, or the 5,125 allocated to the Edinburgh community food initiative? or the £250 for travel and meal cost for a childrens holiday? or £500 to the Heart to Heart group .. personally I don’t. Do you?

Finally there is an inherent problem with the QUANGO situation in Scotland (which has been criticised by the European Union Commissioner for democracy (or whatever their title is)) thats says that non govermental organisations shouldn’t have so many goverment people on their board and committies. If you look at the Partnerships Report you have to go 6pages before you find an ordinary member of the local community (the first 5pages having photo’s of Jack O’Donnell, Susan Deacon and Margaret Curran) and in fact Cllr O’Donnell (labour) sits as Chairman of this NON GOVERNMENTAL organisation. This is not merley a problem with the partnership alone but, just because it isn’t unique to the partnership doesn’t mean its okay.

The partnership Annual Review states the the total funding for Craigmillar amounted to about 5.4million of which 10% wen’t to merely funding the agency thats sole aim is to allocate it to the groups that actually do the work in the community? and we aren’t suppossed to raise an eyebrow?

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