Friday 26 March 2010

Total Place: now for Total Communities!

The results of the Total Place pilots were launched today by John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities. We were lucky to have the person who directed the project (Irene Lucas) from DCLG speaking at our Spring Conference today.

We are in discussion with HMT and DCLG on how we can build on the Total Place project to look at " Total Communites". In other words, local authorities, PCTS and other agencies have indentified the savings that come from working together, now they should look at how the sector might deliver the joined up and cost effective solution to better delivery. We want to explore a number of pilots on this. It should build into the Comprehensive Spending Review in the Autumn.

Stories are flooding into ACEVO and Euclid about the horro of applying for EU funding. Euclid has been involved in consultations with the Commission on reform. It is needed.

This is just one example of a reply from a member:

" We were glad to see the back of EU Objective 1 funding because we reckon every pound we got from this grant for projects cost us about £1.07p to deliver and claim. (!!!) "

She then goes on to tell the awful story;

" We have to keep original paper copies of all documentation that could be evidence of the work done and the outputs claimed - not just financial info, but everything - records of attendance at consultation events, questionnaires completed by residents etc - for an indefinite amount of time. This timescale is defined by the final date of payment of the last grant paid under this programme - and given the number of disputed cases, clawbacks etc this hasn't even started the clock ticking yet. We will then have to store all this paperwork for years and years (I think its 40 years!) in case it should ever be needed. We are leasing storage space to comply with this. "

How completely absurd. Euclid have been telling the Commission this has to stop. We know that many members now will have nothing to do with EU funding because of this ridiculous palaver. This defeats the purpose of the funding streams. It makes a mockery of the EU attempts to support civil society working in deprived communities! Reform is essential. It is needed now.

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