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European Social Fund

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the impact of the delays in the administration of European social fund funding for voluntary sector organisations.

The reform of the structural funds, including the European social fund, involves major changes to the administrative procedures. This will necessarily take time to effect and will have an impact on applicant organisations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the total number of voluntary sector organisations currently in receipt of grant aid from the European social fund to finance training programmes for Great Britain and each of the standard regions.

During 1989 165 voluntary organisations received assistance from the European social fund for vocational training programmes in Great Britain. The regional breakdown is as follows:

RegionVoluntary organisations
Northern17
Yorkshire and Humberside9
East Midlands2
East Anglia2
South East57
South West5
West Midlands7
North West17
Wales8
Scotland36
National5
No decisions have yet been announced on the amount of European social fund support for 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on whether some voluntary sector organisations may withdraw their interest in the European social fund programme as a result of his Department's failure to administer European social fund funding within the timetable.

I have no information at this stage about any voluntary sector organisations withdrawing from the European social fund in 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the amount of financial assistance currently being made available to voluntary sector organisations by the European social fund.

Arrangements are currently being made to pay those outstanding voluntary organisation final claims for 1988, cleared by the Commission. A total of £1·826 million has been received to date this financial year for this purpose. Final claims for 1989 projects are in the process of being received and checked, before being forwarded to the Commission for clearance and payment authority. No decisions have yet been announced on the amount of European social fund (ESF) money to be allocated to any organisation in 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the failure of his Department to provide application forms to voluntary sector organisations for European social fund funding for 1990 by the end of April.

No projects can be considered until the finalised operational programmes have been approved by the Commission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the total number of training places currently being supported in the voluntary sector, by grant aid from the European social fund.

There have been no decisions announced regarding individual organisations' ESF support for 1990. Therefore, I canot say how many training places are currently being supported in the voluntary sector by the ESF.