Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Connecting Communities Plus and A4e

You may never have heard of "Connecting Communities Plus". An official document tells us that " Connecting Communities Plus, Community Grants (CCPlus) were announced and launched by the Home Office in October 2005. They formed part of the Government’s agenda for community cohesion outlined in Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society (IOSS) (Home Office, 2005). The funding was designed for local community groups and aimed to foster both racial equality and community cohesion." The community grants scheme came to an end in 2006 and was followed by another £18m of funding over 3 years for strategic grants, project grants and community grants. The scheme is described here. If you read to the end of that document you will see that the grants administrator for the strategic and project grants is A4e.
There's some slight confusion, in that A4e states that it was its Foundation for Social Improvement that was responsible, but also has a separate website for the scheme.
I'm certain that A4e did the job properly. My question is why a private company needed to be involved at all. I don't know whether they were paid for the work, but if so it would have been no more (and possibly less) than a quango would have cost. But it does seem that this is another area where A4e is establishing itself as the expert.

On a lighter note, one of the places in Britain that I really want to visit is the Eden Project. The Plymouth Herald reported in October that Eden has appointed a new chairman and three new members of the Eden Trust - one of whom is A4e's Emma Harrison.

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