Dithering DSD

A protest meeting is to be held by community groups about the decision by the Department for Social Development to further delay the already late distribution of Neighbourhood Renewal Funds. This was one of the Slugger Awards Jobsworth nominees. NICVA says 150 groups are being effected by this decision and in one community I know of the delays have already resulted in 6 workers being laid off (about half the workers in the area). Note this is not affected by the Executive hiatus.

  • cynic

    Look at the economic situation. This is just a start ……no matter how good a job they do, if there’s no money to pay for it, there’s no money …….. although of course we will still be able to find the funds to pay MLAs salaries and expenses for doing nothing but argue, the salaries and expenses of all their staff and researchers (can’t have the wives and children going penniless, can we), 4 Victims Comnmissioners (when one would do), etc, etc, etc.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Neighbourhood Renewal was such a good idea – a co-ordinated statutory approach to tackling the root causes of multiple deprivation.

    Its execution, however, has been dire.

    From the outset DSD have completely mis-handled Neighbourhood Renewal. Instead of trying to integrate its aims into the basic aims of every government department, they have allowed them to opt out and treat it as an optional add-on.

    The result has been that DSD have been left running a programme that does not change how government operates here in any long lasting way. So once the money runs out Neighbourhood Renewal is dead in the water… (at which point they can tosss the twitching corpse to our local councils to deal with its burial).

  • Sink Sink

    Give it a rest Fair Deal. We all know the DUP hates the DSD because it wanted to take money away from the UDA

  • grouch

    The real reason why the Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme has not been fully integrated throughout all departments is that the DUPs and SF refuse to run the Executive. Imagine a company trying to run its business if the Chairman of the Board and its directors cannot even agree to meet to set an agenda, to set targets and objectives, to agree budgets, etc.

    What hope have we when we have the evil axis of DUP and SF trying to ruin everything they don’t agree with – now that’s democracy – not!

  • grouch

    The real reason why the Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme has not been fully integrated throughout all departments is that the DUPs and SF refuse to run the Executive. Imagine a company trying to run its business if the Chairman of the Board and its directors cannot even agree to meet to set an agenda, to set targets and objectives, to agree budgets, etc.

    What hope have we when we have the evil axis of DUP and SF trying to ruin everything they don’t agree with – now that’s democracy – not!

  • The Raven

    “Look at the economic situation. This is just a start ……no matter how good a job they do, if there’s no money to pay for it, there’s no money ……..”

    There is indeed money to pay for it, and it’s a ten year programme, but before I go on….

    “The real reason why the Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme has not been fully integrated throughout all departments is that the DUPs and SF refuse to run the Executive.”

    Actually it’s not. It’s because DSD have been slapped around so many times by audit, that their procedures are as tight as a rat’s ass. Consequently, they are always running BEHIND the budgetary process of all other Departments. Departments, which it must be said, continue to run, despite political impasses.

    This means that at the time when they should be negotiating the mainstreaming of local programmes into central government and statutory agencies, they’re only getting round to last year’s paperwork.

    This programme, for the hard of understanding, is NOT to secure jobs – it’s to secure programmes which are targeted at those who are most demonstrably in need. And targeted AT that need.

    For example. A Neighbourhood Partnership decides this year and next to fund a youth programme. In planning for year three, they find that a particular health issue is more important. They decide “enough for youth, let’s focus on health”. The funding switches to the next important problem.

    That’s the theory. Anyway, I will bet a tenner that the staff in question in the main piece are attached to youth projects, which DSD have decided to no longer fund as they should (rightly) be being funded by Youth Services within the Education Boards.

    I’m sorry to be a spoilsport on this one. It certainly is a DSD problem…but not for the reasons outlined in the original blog.

  • Steaky

    Raven,
    congrats on being the most informed poster on this topic. DSD do not have statutory responsibility for many of the initiatives that the Neighbourhood Renewal fund currently provides, these are a legacy of the ineffective funding programmes that have reigned supreme in Northern Ireland and led to an unwieldly public sector. Understandably other Departments, which admittedly focus on their own priorities, are unwilling to adopt them. The principle of Neighbourhood Renewal was about outcomes and achieving change, yet when anyone tries to change the status quo and actually try to achieve anything its what about the job losses.

  • The Raven

    Cheers, Steaky. I do a lot of work with some of the groups affected across Northern Ireland.

    I just want to add, I think the principle of Neighbourhood Renewal is laudable – just unworkable in the current governmental framework. It’s nobody’s fault per se – we’re just not ready for what has, I believe, proved to be a very successful programme across the water.