DSD says Waterside partnership not delivering ‘value for money’

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The Waterside Area Partership (WAP) duplicated services delivered by other organisations on the East Bank, operated in areas not poor enough to qualify for regeneraion funding, and didn’t deliver valuey for money in terms of state support provided.

That’s according to the Department of Social Development (DSD), who have responded to last week’s report that WAP, which has been supporting community co-operation and development on the East Bank for the past twenty years, is set to run out of money in around three months.

In relation to WAP a spokesperson for DSD said: “As with all Executive Departments, due to the current financial climate, DSD was required to implement efficiencies across all business areas which included a reduction in the funding available to Neighbourhood Renewal projects.

“The Department had to undertake a robust approach and used a methodology with the aim of maximising the delivery of high quality services to the most disadvantaged and to ensure funding was prioritised against the highest quality projects.

“All projects which applied for funding were subject to an evaluation and economic appraisal.

“Following this process, the Department concluded that WAP duplicates the services delivered by other organisations and operates in areas outside the Neighbourhood Renewal Area which are not eligible for Neighbourhood Renewal support.

“The appraisal also found that the outputs delivered by the project were limited and do not represent value for money when set against the amount of funding provided..”

It stated: “As a result, the Department has decided not to provide further funding to this project.”

But the spokesperson said people living in deprived Waterside areas would still be supported with funding of over £4 million to be provided by DSD to 59 projects in Londonderry in the 2015/16 financial year. Funding of £653,000 will be provided to 11 projects in the Waterside Neighbourhood Renewal Area.