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LETTERS SECTION

d se li a in rg a m on k c ta at n A c o m mun it ies Thu, Nov 10th, ’09 Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny.

nt mmunity Developme alignment of the Co a (behind closed Dear readers, the ing nn pla is n rra n Cu wing Minister of State Joh the local partnership companies. Follo that a majority will cease ted with Programme (CDP) 0 or so projects in the CDP, it is anticipa ership company. 18 al partn loc ir the by -up doors) review of the ed se remaining CDPs to ainder to be swallow to exist, with the rem minister further intends to instruct tho boards under the ior ory I understand the jun boards of management to become advis community groups are y – dissolve their voluntar r only. The assets of the – then defunct ity assets are in many cases un e yea on mm for co – ese hip Th . ers hip rtn by ers pa over years or decades nsferred to the partn also expected to be tra buildings and drop-in centres developed hts, and so on. ity sports halls, commun gh sponsored walks, table quizzes, race nig to commandeer these g many volunteers throu it appears, the junior minister is proposin ate organisations that -St n, asi pe a qu of e the ok to str ip nersh At the es and transfer their ow community properti the guise of financial ior minister – under the partnerships are. jun the – te sta the of community sector, in nt Here we have an age very independent existence of a vibrant nment white papers and ver the cutbacks - attacking ents to the autonomy of the sector in Go face of stated commitm cess. rable pro s has the very conside the active citizenship t of Community, Rural Gaeltacht Affair t in considering plo stence While the Departmending from projects, it is clearly losing the the projects are in exi power to withdraw fun s projects to go out of existence. Many of velopment Programme and ou De om the Community instructing auton ding coming through for longer than the funding base too. posed development is many have a wider funout 20 are local Traveller projects. The pro ies have proved to be an ab mp Ps, Of the 180 CD al partnership co t vested interests on for them, as many loc particularly ominous aveller issues, when these come up agains Tr ng rti po sup r useless in time ago, this is furthe g partnership boards. ing cuts to the Equality Authority some entin res rep s ice vo g tin eep mocracy and dissen Along with the sw ack on participative de proof of a targeted att ities. marginalised commun Yours, etc,

Tho m as E rb sloh

Reply from

Minister Curran

Thomas Erbsloh’s letter was first published in the Irish Times and Minister Curran replied in writing, reiterating many of the points already made in our news coverage of this issue in earlier pages of this edition. Minister Curran also said: “The statement made in the letter to The Irish Times claiming that the majority of CDPs will close as a result of the review process is completely inaccurate. On the contrary, I would reasonably expect the majority of projects to be deemed viable and that they would move into the new integrated programme. “However, some Community Development Programmes are not dependent solely on funding provided by the department and may decide to continue in separate existence, outside of the new integrated programme. The department cannot instruct these companies, or indeed any independent legal entity, to close. “The intention is to preserve elements of best practice from the existing CDP/ LDSIP programmes in the redesigned model, to minimise structures and to enhance benefits for individuals and communities through significant administrative and overhead savings. “These developments are taking place at a time of extreme budgetary difficulties,” added Minister Curran.

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