Magazine article Public Finance

Community Scheme 'Fails on Value for Money'

Magazine article Public Finance

Community Scheme 'Fails on Value for Money'

Article excerpt

A major programme to focus resources on Wales' most deprived areas has come under renewed criticism for failing to demonstrate value for money.

The Welsh Assembly's Public Accounts Committee said the Welsh Government had failed to adequately oversee die Communities First project and was unable to demonstrate good value for the £214m so far spent on the programme.

Committee chair Jonathan Morgan said: 'The Assembly Government cannot take much comfort from the publication of this report. This is one of the most serious and critical reports that the Public Accounts Committee has published.'

He said the inquiry had shown that organisations involved in Communities First areas had been given insufficient guidance and 'local authorities in Wales had simply not understood the nature of the programme'.

Morgan added: 'This is the fourth report to be highly critical of Communities First since its inception in 2001. The committee heard that, while die programme is operated with the best of intentions to help deprived communities, there still isn't enough support and guidance from those at the top to help those at the coal face/

The report by the committee, published on Februan7 23, followed an investigation by the Wales Audit Office last year. …

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