Plug Pulled

The front page of today’s Irish News carries a story by Suzanne McGonagle,Government pulls plug on welcome pack funds, Subs needed, which reveals that the government has withdrawn an offer of £10,000 funding from the Falls Community Council which was to pay for the production of the “Welcome Pack” as blogged by Mick yesterday in A double edged welcome in the West? “The government had offered the Falls Community Council £10,000 for production of the welcome pack, subject to certain conditions.

But in a letter issued by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) yesterday, it said it was “not in the public interest that potentially vulnerable members of society, to which the booklet is addressed, should be discouraged from seeking the assistance of the PSNI”.

“Nor is it in their interests that members of minority ethnic communities in west Belfast should be drawn into taking a particular position in relation to policing in Northern Ireland.

“In the circumstances, the department has decided that, in the public interest, the use of public funds in support of the welcome pack of which this booklet is part would be absolutely inappropriate.”

The department also objected to the use of its name and logo on the booklet.”

A spokesman for the FCC has expressed shock and disappointment, and
Flair Campbell of WARN has said they are “outraged”.