Ash Denham MSP has welcomed the decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to allocate funding to an additional 15 community projects across the Capital who had looked to have missed out following recommendations set out by council officers at the beginning of the year in the 2020/23 Communities and Families Grant to Third Parties Programme report.
The Edinburgh Eastern MSP had written to the members of the council’s Education, Children and Families Committee asking councillors not to approve the recommendations which would see the likes of the Health Opportunities Team (pictured), the Venchie Children and Young People’s Project and the Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre miss out on vital funding.
In the letter to councillors, Ms. Denham argued that the projects recommended for funding were “not evenly spread out through the city” and were not going to the areas most in need, pointing to statistics from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Index showing Craigmillar and Gilmerton to be among the most impoverished parts of the Capital.
Last week, the council made the decision that those projects already recommended for funding would still receive it but in addition would split a total of £611,902 between a further 15 projects which weren’t initially successful, including 5 in Ms. Denham’s Edinburgh Eastern constituency: Craigmillar Books for Babies (£9,165), Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre (£5,000), Health Opportunities Team (£138,264), The Ripple Project (£101,207), and the Venchie Children and Young People’s Project (£36,132).
Commenting, Ms. Denham said:
“I welcome this decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to allocate funding to a further five community projects in my constituency, which I believe in some cases would not have been able to continue without it.
“When it looked like these charities had missed out on funding, I wrote to councillors imploring them to reconsider and I am pleased that monies have now been set aside for the projects I highlighted, as well as others in my constituency.
“I and my office have worked closely with a number of these organisations and I’m relieved that they have now been given a lifeline and will be able to continue their incredible work across the constituency, which I have witnessed first hand on numerous occasions.
“However, while I am pleased to see significant resources invested in projects based in the Craigmillar and Lochend areas, I share the concerns of many groups in the Gilmerton area – including the local community council – over the challenges the Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre will face in meeting the needs and demands of those living in Gilmerton and Liberton.
“Goodtrees has done so much for local people – not least their inspirational work in supporting the most vulnerable in our community during the lockdown – and so I ask the council to continue to engage with the Goodtrees management in order to ensure young people are heard and are supported.”
Funding announcement: https://democracy.edinburgh.gov.uk/documents/b16542/Version%203%20-%20Motions%20and%20Amendments%2028th-May-2020%2010.00%20Policy%20and%20Sustainability%20Committee.pdf?T=9 (Page 17)