Fears for future of council's Community Regeneration Unit
2:10pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 in County News
The future of a team that works to support and access funding for community groups across Pembrokeshire is under review.
Pembrokeshire County Council has denied rumours that a decision has already been taken to close the Community Regeneration Unit (CRU) at County Hall, but admitted cuts are possible.
The CRU works to assist community groups, and town and community councils to regenerate their areas. One of its most important roles is to provide information on how groups can access funding through the county council and other sources, such as the National Lottery.
County Councillor Rod Bowen has written to council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones to protest against any potential moves to cut the CRU team.
“This is fundamentally a two-fingered salute to our communities,” said the Plaid Cymru representative.
“I believe that the impact of cutting this service will have a significant effect on jobs and the economy of Pembrokeshire, when in reality the local authority should be at the forefront of supporting further investment and support.”
Cllr Bowen added: “Their [the CRU team’s] vision is desperately needed if we are to maximise the fight back from this period of extreme austerity.”
A council spokesman told the Western Telegraph that no formal decision has been made to close the CRU, but added: “However, as part of the council’s budget savings target of £8.6 million over the next three years, a £1.6 million reduction in the budget for 2013/14 is being considered on the basis of a mix of vacancy management, service changes and efficiency/cost reductions.
“The options for reductions are being worked through, but as there is no statutory requirement for local authorities to have a Community Regeneration Unit, it is possible that some reductions may be made.”