A NUMBER of community schemes based in disadvantaged areas have decided to refuse any further state funding due to what they claim are attempts to silence those seeking to give voice to the marginalised.
Last night, Minister for Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey was informed by the representatives of several Community Development Projects (CDP) that they no longer wished to be considered for funding through the state agency Pobal.
On her way to meet government officials yesterday evening, CDP coordinator Kathleen O’Neill said there were two key reasons why schemes she represents in the Kilbarrack area of north Dublin would now forgo state funding and operate on a voluntary basis.
“To retain our independence and to be able to articulate and identify local needs for local communities,” Ms O’Neill said.
The move comes during growing unrest in the community sector over controversial government plans to close many of the country’s 180 CDPs and bring the remaining schemes under the control of local area partnerships, which are governed by boards that include local politicians and business interests.
CDPs on average employ three to five full and part-time workers and are overseen by management boards made up of locals or those, such as lone parents, who are assisted by a particular project.
Most CDPs were established in the early 1990s through an EU-funded scheme and currently receive around €90,000 in state funding.
SIPTU vice-president Patricia King said: “It is evident to many in the community sector that certain projects, including longstanding organisations which have played a vital role in empowering vulnerable communities, have been singled out for closure.”
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