Aston Pride Failures Are Highlighted in Report

The Birmingham Post (England), September 29, 2003 | Go to article overview

Aston Pride Failures Are Highlighted in Report


Byline: Paul Dale Chief Reporter

Poor performance by Birmingham's pounds 54 million Aston Pride regeneration scheme is to be highlighted in a potentially damning report by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, writes chief reporter Paul Dale.

John Prescott will publish an independent evaluation of 39 New Deal for Communities schemes across the country, which were created by the Government with the aim of regenerating the country's poorest inner city communities.

Local boards of community representatives and business leaders were handed generous budgets to boost employment, tackle crime and deliver environmental improvements.

However, Mr Prescott's report will show that at least five of the New Deal boards, including Aston, performed so badly that they have had to be closed down and reinstated under new leadership.

The former Aston Pride board was disbanded in April on the orders of Tony McNulty, the Regeneration Minister.

An initial Government report found the directors of Aston Pride failed to establish the necessary infrastructure to 'employ people, give them conditions of service, policies, procedures, health and safety, employer's liability or the means to pay salaries'.

Aston Pride spent little more than pounds 2 million over a two-year period, and most of that was on administration. …

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