Friday, 11 September 2009

Pembroke Businesses hit by funding fiasco says AM

Pembrokeshire businesses are being hit by a funding fiasco which means that European grant aid is getting tied up in Cardiff Bay.

EU aid used to be handed directly to initiatives in target areas. But now it is paid via the Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff Bay with the result that it is being delayed by bureaucracy.

“It is quite clear that this money is now taking longer to get to the areas that most need it,” said South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns.

She and Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies were briefed on the situation by board members of Pembrokeshire Business Initiative at a recent meeting.

“These board members are all local businessmen and women who have between them many decades of experience,” added Mr Davies.

“It is immensely frustrating for everyone concerned to see this money coming in to Cardiff Bay and then get stuck in red tape.”

Mrs Burns added: “Instead of grants being paid directly to enterprise agencies with local knowledge and knowhow to distribute them where needed, everything now has to be applied for via an army of civil servants in Cardiff Bay and it all takes too much time.

“Things need to work from the grass roots up. We need less centralisation and to get Pembrokeshire back in the driving seat.”

Mrs Burns is currently running a campaign aimed at helping small businesses survive the recession and both the Assembly Members will be holding regular meetings with PBI in the future.


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