HL Deb 16 October 1986 vol 480 cc1016-7WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will list the former schemes of Action for Community Employment in Northern Ireland which have been vetted and found to be unsuitable to receive further funds; and how many potential schemes have been rejected during the past two years; and

What are the criteria for approving, rejecting or discontinuing assistance under the Action for Community Employment programme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Lyell)

The main criteria are as follows:—

  1. (a) projects must provide something of benefit to the community;
  2. (b) existing jobs must not be put at risk;
  3. (c) projects must involve work which would not otherwise be done within a reasonable period;
  4. (d) sponsors must employ adults who are long-term unemployed;
  5. (e) where appropriate, sponsors must consult with relevant trade unions and employers' organisations.

ACE grants are also withheld or discontinued in cases where the Secretary of State is satisfied that community groups seeking grants, or persons prominent in the direction or management of such groups, have sufficiently close links with paramilitary organisations to give rise to a grave risk that to give support to those groups would have the effect of furthering the aims of a paramilitary organisation, whether directly or indirectly.

Five projects have had funds terminated for this reason (one of which was readmitted to the scheme following a fresh application after its management had been restructured) and two proposed projects have been refused funds. To name the schemes concerned might place individuals involved with them at risk.