HL Deb 04 November 2003 vol 654 cc85-6WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they propose to take to address the issue of weak community infrastructure in East Belfast. [HL4770]

Baroness Amos

East Belfast is currently benefiting from a number of government initiatives and programmes focusing on the issue of weak community infrastructure.

The Local Community Fund which aims to develop local community capacity and leadership is targeted at specific areas with the greatest needs. Communities in Pottinger, Avoniel, The Mount, Willowfield and Ravenhill will benefit directly under this fund through the allocation of a total of £418,000 this year.

The Outreach Programme which is a three-year initiative totalling £2.9 million is supporting two projects in East Belfast. The "East Belfast Parent Support Initiative" and the "Ballybeen Regeneration Project" will receive funding totalling £455,000 to address, among other things, issues of weak community infrastructure.

Through environmental improvements in East Belfast Groundwork (NI) and local communities are working together to increase capacity and improve infrastructure.

Local community leaders are considering the need for a pilot community convention in East Belfast aimed at creating practical ways to help local people tackle disadvantage and work in partnership with government bodies.

The Department for Social Development's Belfast Regeneration Office South and East Team have this year committed £414,904.00 towards 24 projects in East Belfast, which are related directly to addressing weak community infrastructure.

The Government's strategy for neighbourhood renewal, "People and Place", launched in June this year, is a seven to 10-year strategy, which has as one of its key strategic objectives the development of confident communities that are able and committed to improving the quality of life in the most deprived neighbourhoods.