Friday, 23 January 2009

How would you spend £3 million in Caia Park?

This is taken from a Plaid Cymru newsletter being delivered to all 5,000 homes in the five wards of Caia Park.

Last year four organisations that operate in Caia Park had an income of £3m - that's money on top of county council and Assembly spending on our schools, social services, housing, health and roads.

The money went to the following organisations:
£937,000 Caia Park Communities First
£477,000 The Venture (including funding from Communities First)
£250,000 Caia Park Community Council
(incl funding for the Venture and Caia Park Partnership)
£1,330,000 Caia Park Partnership
(including funding from Communities First)

£2,994,000 TOTAL (2007-8)

This is the more than £500 for every household in Caia.

Some of this money goes on excellent projects that help people in Caia Park - providing play and other facilities in The Venture, day care for the elderly in Deva House and nursery facilities in Sparkles. There are other valuable projects
that also benefit the community.

But these only account for some of the £3m listed above. Much more is spent on duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy.
For example Communities First had a budget of £937,000 in the year 2006-7. Of this, £453,000 was forwarded straight to other projects (such as The Venture and Caia Park Partnership).

A further £331,000 was spent on administrative expenses. So an administration costing a third of a million pounds oversees the remaining £153,000 budget.

The aim of Communities First is to empower local people, to create work and training opportunities in an area of real need. It's received £4.5m since it was established in 2002.

We want to see this money spent in Caia Park according to local people's wishes and needs.

Plaid Cymru's Caia Park branch sends out this friendly challenge to these organisations - ask the people what they want and see if the money can go further to achieve what's needed.

To the people funding these organisations - whether Welsh Assembly Government or local council - we ask that they look at the books and assess whether the outcomes match the money being spent.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WAG should send in the Welsh Audit Office to carry out an in depth audit of how Communities First spend their money. Is it right that all the employees are related to each other and are all Labour members?

Progressive Comment said...

Good work Marc, Communities First as a policy should be given critical support, as some good can be done with it. However exposing the waste is essential, I would think that intervening on a local level and putting pressure on the CF partnership might yield results.

Anonymous said...

I agree, that in the current climate, a waste of resources is not something to ignore. I also agree that consulting the residents of Caia Park regarding expenditure is the way forward. What I wouldn't want to see is a select group of people from the estate involved in the decision making process. It's all to easy to consult with knowledgeable, confident people in a tokenistic approach. What needs to be addressed is how people have the opportunity to express their views and opinions. Personally I think the voluntary organisations, who have good relationships with the families, should be assisted to hold formal and informal evidenced consultations with the families. In a setting that is comfortable and empowering. An accurate evaluation from service users regarding the support they have been receiving, and whether they have been beneficial. Only then can there be a true view of what the residents of Caia Park think the funding should be spent on.

Following this the findings should be anylized, acted upon then decisions fed back to the residents for approval.