Coventry has been denied £13 million of aid
to rejuvenate neighbourhoods and communities in the city.
Community groups, voluntary organisations and
public agencies got together to make the bid to the latest round
of the latest round of the Single Regeneration Budget.
But with applications pouring in from all
over the region, this bid proved unsuccessful.
Advantage West Midlands decided that Coventry’s
bid was not one of the highest priorities for the area.
The decision leaves the future of various
schemes and projects in deprived areas of the city hanging in the
Matt Feeley, Regeneration Policy Advisor at
the City Council said:
"This decision has serious
implications for the work that needs to be done to give people
living in Coventry's high priority neighbourhoods the best
opportunities to succeed."
Community Safety Bureaux are to be set up
across the city to tackle local issues such as anti-social
behaviour and domestic violence.
But they will now receive less money because
of the unsuccessful bid.
Mr Feeley said Coventry’s recent economic
revival was one of the reasons that the money did not come.
He said the city had moved from being the
40th most deprived local authority to 76, out of 300 council
areas, and this would affect the city’s ability to win bids.
Over the next week representatives of the
local partnership will meet with Advantage West Midlands to get
more detailed feedback and to consider the way forward.
Mr Feeley said a bid would be prepared for
next year’s round of funding, which will cover a different
Cllr Tom White, cabinet member (Community
Well-being) said he was bewildered by the decision.
"A great deal of hard work went into
producing this bid from a large number of agencies and local
“I am determined this effort will not go
to waste and we will do all we can to find alternative funding
for these projects".
The bid, called "Neighbourhood Matters
in Coventry" aimed help the most vulnerable and socially
excluded communities in the city.
It sought to address directly the way crime
and poverty disable community life and prevent people living in
those areas benefiting directly from new economic opportunities.
Crime and poverty are two of the 6 priorities
within the Coventry Community Plan.
The objective of the plan is to make
measurable improvements by 2003, which will be harder to achieve
without the SRB cash.
Funding from the SRB grant was intended to
support, amongst other things, the following
- Building the capacity of local people or groups to
regenerate their areas
- Assistance with promoting community safety and relieving
access to basic skills training
guidance on personal income raising opportunities
of vocational training initiatives and employment generating
Matt Sawers, Acting Superintendent at Little
Park Street said the fight against crime and poverty would
continue despite the setback:
"The police and partner agencies
remain determined to tackle these issues with or without
assistance and are committed to meeting the priorities
identified after the direct involvement of local people."
SEE [02 AUG