Dickson questions Head of Civil Service over ethnic minority funding

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has asked the Head of the Civil Service whether a fund for ethnic minority groups is serving its intended purpose, after concerns were raised over which groups were receiving money.

Several groups who applied to the Minority Ethnic Development Fund (MEDF) have complained about losing funding, adding their belief financing was not reserved exclusively for minority ethnic organisations. Mr Dickson said he has now sought urgent clarification.

“There is no doubting the MEDF has provided excellent support for many ethnic minority groups,” he said.

“However, concerns have been raised regarding its running, as a number of other groups have been offered funding who are outside of the intended original scope of the fund. While those groups may carry out good work in the community, the result is minority ethnic groups – who are meant to benefit from the fund – will miss out.

“I have asked David Sterling to outline how the scheme is being managed, who has applied for it and how the awarding of funds fits with the purpose of the scheme. If we do not clarify this situation urgently, we could see disastrous consequences and some organisations could even go to the wall.”

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