Friday, 14 December 2012

Fears over future of community services as LCDP budget slashed

The future of vital community services are in doubt after the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DCELG) informed fifty Local & Community Development Programme (LCDP) projects that their budgets would be cut by between 7% and 11%. This cut follows the continuing decline in LCDP funding from €84.7 million in 2008 to €49 million in 2013, a cut of 42% in total.
Manus Bree, Community Worker and Chairperson of SIPTU’s Local Development Company Committee said: “LCDP delivers a range of vital supports to vulnerable communities and families who have been hit elsewhere in this budget. Older people, those with disabilities and lone parents rely on LCDP projects and services and for many it is a lifeline. These cuts are also a false economy; early school leaving, drug misuse, family breakdown and mental health problems are just some of the issues to which the LCDP programme responds. The social and economic costs that will be incurred in the future will be far greater than any savings made now.”

The LCDP programme delivers a range of vital services targeted at education, enterprise and employment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. A recent report by POBAL showed that in 2011 the LCDP programme supported 4,110 local communities groups, helped 1,121 people into employment and 5,042 into self-employment and  saw 11,393 participate in education with a further 11,781 participating in labour market training.
SIPTU Sector Organiser Eddie Mullins stated: “There are huge challenges facing community programmes in 2013, not least of which is this disproportionate budget cut and the local industrial relations issues it will cause. If we are to minimise the impact on community services there needs to be a real engagement between workers, employers and the Department.”

SIPTU Community Members at the DCTU Anti Austerity March, 24th November 2012 

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