EU red tape stifles community action
Community groups capable of delivering neighbourhood renewal are deterred from applying for European grants because of excessive red tape and bureaucracy; government-funded research has claimed.
Researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University were asked by the Department for Work and Pensions to evaluate the impact of the European Social Fund (ESF) on delivering change at a local level.
The final report also concluded that local groups were marginalised from ESF because of the need to attract match funding and the failure to offer long-term funding.
‘There remains a strong concern that some groups and organisations that could, in principle, add to the social capital of local areas by getting involved in ESF, are constrained in doing so by limited capacity to deal with the required administrative and managerial processes,’ the report said.
While the report identified a number of capacity building projects playing a role in boosting the chances of local organisations to receive ESF, there was concern that such projects would take a long time to deliver results.
Elsewhere, the report said ESF was helping to provide funding to rural areas that had been bypassed by other funding streams, such as the neighbourhood renewal fund, because of their proximity to more affluent areas.
Local impact of the ESF, www.dwp.gov.uk
Source: New Start magazine