Community fund 'unfair to the poor'

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A RE-JIGGED funding programme designed to help deprived communities is causing more harm than good.

That will be the message from an influential umbrella organisation to the council when they meet tomorrow.

The Edinburgh Community Representatives' Network has claimed the way the Fairer Scotland Fund has been distributed around communities is an unfair reflection on the way the former grants programme – then called the Community Regeneration Fund – was run.

It has left the poorest people in the Capital with even fewer facilities, ECRN said, and needs to be changed before more voluntary services either make sweeping cuts or go under altogether.

ECRN said poorer areas are getting a smaller slice of the cake than before, while wealthier council wards that received no funding, are being given the difference.

George Pitcher, the organisation's chairman, said: "Areas received funding are now facing significant cuts, almost 40 per cent in one area.

"It is a short-sighted approach as it assumes that poorer people living in affluent areas of the city experience the same hardships as those who live in areas of deprivation."