UK news Ards and North Down outraged after council spends £100,000 on scheme only to be torpedoed by Stormont last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - A council spent £100,000 on a public realm scheme - only for a Sinn Fein minister to change the rules for funding.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "A council spent £100,000 on a public realm scheme - only for a Sinn Fein minister to change the rules for funding. Councillors in Ards and North Down have voiced outrage and threatened a legal challenge to Stormont over the failed plan to regenerate Portaferry. The Council spent £100,000 designing a public realm plan in line with a Department for Communities funding scheme. But plans to transform the Ards Peninsula town were torpedoed after a new minister changed funding criteria after the Executive returned in 2020.The previous minister, the DUP's Paul Givan, had lowered the population threshold criteria from 5,000 to 2,500, meaning Portaferry was eligible to apply. In 2018, the council agreed to start designing the scheme, with works planned to begin this year. But councillors were informed last month that current Sinn Fein minster Deirdre Hargey had changed the threshold back to 5,000, meaning Portaferry could no longer avail of the fund - despite the six-figure expenditure.
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.Council director of regeneration Susie McCullough told members that the minister's letter to the Regeneration and Development Committee two weeks ago "indicates the issue is now that Portaferry falls below their 5,000 threshold, and they are not able to consider it". SDLP councillor Joe Boyle, who previously chaired a committee on the work, said the news had come as a shock."It was also very disturbing to know that the council has supported this the whole way, and put £100,000 of ratepayers' money in doing what we had to do, to get to where we were. I'm not sure where or why it fell down, or how far we were led before we were given the ultimate news."Somebody somewhere within that department would have known that funding was not secure, and alarm bells should have been sent to the council that we needed to stop what we were doing, because there was no funding from the scheme."The DUP's Robert Adair said: "My reading is we were promised the funding by the Department for Communities and the council has been led up the garden path.""
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com