Monday, 9 March 2009

Cross government co-location fund

Great example of short term knee jerk reaction and a desperate search for ways to spend our money. The Department for Children, Schools and Families have recently invited Hartlepool to bid for a share of a national co-location fund of £200 million. Bids need to be sent in by 6 April 2009.

The Mayor and Cabinet clearly have no ideas as they are desperate enough to actually ask none executive Councillors if they have any suggestions.

The invitation to submit suggestions was sent out today and the deadline for responses is before the next Cabinet meeting on 24 March.

The funding is intended to support schemes which can demonstrate that they can;

"improve outcomes for children and be sustainable".

Any projects must be able to deliver the new facilities by September 2011.

So anyone in a position to suggest a scheme in the next 2 weeks had better get their thinking caps on. Apparently the DCSF is particularly interested in seeing bids for

"co-location projects on sites where universal services are already located e.g. schools and primary health care services. It expects that many areas will prioritize projects for the co-location of services which work on a face to face basis with children, young people, families and communities. Such projects could be achieved through adaptation of existing spaces in schools, youth centres or other community facilities, through the development of one-stop shop facilities or through investment in mobile facilities.

The DCSF would also expect the partnership projects to be centred on services for children, young people and their families, with involvement of two or more partners from education and wider children’s services, early years provision, sport (including swimming and the Olympic legacy), health, youth support services, local housing, police, justice, play, recreation and leisure services."

Hope all that is clear?

In a throw away line in the middle of the appeal is the phrase,

"Given the timescale, any projects suggested would need to be ones which were already worked up in some detail with partners."

So its not actually NEW ideas they want to fund, just throw some money at old ones!

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