Friday, 2 July 2010


"At last weeks meeting of the Cliftonville Partnership serious concerns were raised by business members regarding the ending of funding for the post of Business Coordinator for Northdown Road. When I was a County Councillor for the area I originally accessed funding through KCC for this role, later the Safer & Stronger Communities Fund helped and later still the Crime & Reduction Partnership. However, the CRDP funding is now to end and many local businesses are distraught.

The post of Business Coordinator has been running for several years now and Pamela Pople is holding together a community shopping centre where many dejected business owners are on their 'last legs'. She's doing sterling work right on the 'front line' here in Cliftonville.

For several months now the manager of St Paul's Community centre has been running the facility voluntarily and with absolutely no wages. The community centre is quite literally the backbone of the community for the poorest in Cliftonville. Elaine Phillips works tirelessly for local residents and has herself raised enormous amounts of funding for the local community in the past. Funding for the centre manager from the SSCF fund ran out some time ago and how the centre stays 'alive and kicking' is nothing short of a miracle and a testament to Elaine's resilience and commitment.

I am absolutely fed up hearing that committee after committee is being set up and that numerous meetings after meetings are being arranged by well meaning but expensively salaried burocrats investigating the problems in our area time after time, over and over again. If you were to add up the wages around a table for a morning, an afternoon or sometimes all day, it would probably come to a cost greater than the frontline Community Centre Manager & Business Coordinator for the year.

In addition to this torrent of meetings arranged by TDC and KCC, we ward councillors in Cliftonville West and Margate Central have simply lost count of the number of consultants and agencies we've repeatedly briefed on local issues over the past seven years.

I am appalled at the time being wasted simply talking about matters. Report after report has been commissioned and everyone knows exactly what the problems are and we need action to deal with them, not endless and repeated talks to discuss them.

The Community Centre manager and the Business Coordinator are two spearhead roles that should be supported by TDC and KCC but the authorities appear to prefer inviting numerous 'experts' to come and sit around tables pontificating instead of supporting our front line workers who are trying to get on with the job".

Published by Cllr Clive Hart, 44 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, CT9 2RW.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting rant. Anyone would think that the bulk of these consultants were not funded by the previous Labour government. In the last couple of years particularly a CLG grant from government was always seemingly only allowed to be spent on a labour government approved consultant. I am glad Clive disapproves of his previous governments habits; funny how he only says so after they have lost the election.


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