Alliance Alderman for Ards Borough Council, Kieran McCarthy, has expressed his disappointment at the news of the impending closure of Ards Local Strategy Partnership, due to the lack of funding for its administrative staff, and fears the same fate for other LSPs. The LSP is expected to close on 31st July.
Alderman McCarthy said:
“I am disappointed to learn that Ards LSP will face closure, with the loss of four staff members, because the Special EU Programmes Body didn’t see it fit to continue funding the LSP’s administration. This is forcing the closure of the LSP, just when the second phase of the latest Peace II money has been allocated. The approved programme work will still need to be done, but sadly it will be without the hardworking and experienced staff of Ards LSP.
“It is expected that Ards Borough Council to be asked to take on the administration of this programme work, which is going to require the knowledge and voluntary commitment of the 20 people who sit on the Ards LSP Board. Yet it would be preferable to keep the administration within the same organisation that is responsible for implementing the programmes – the Ards LSP. The manner that this is being handled has been a Horlicks.
“The Ards LSP appears to be the first to be affected this way. There are certainly other LSPs facing the same circumstance, and I fear that several will unfortunately face the same demise.”