EASTON WRITES TO SPECTATOR OVER THE KILCOOLEY WOMENS CENTRE

Dear Editor,

I am becoming more and more concerned for the future of the Kilcooley Women’s Education Centre. We know though an evidence session at the DEL Committee how the European Social Fund has been poorly managed through the DEL Department which Stephen Farry leads, forcing the Minister to publically apologize at the committee. Even though the Kilcooley Women’s Centre’s project was successful and met the criteria for funding it will not receive a penny. This is because DEL has moved previously centrally funded DEL Programmes into their European Stream; this is not what ESF funding is to be used for. Stephen Farry should remember that his Department is merely a letterbox for this additional European fund, and should not be raided to shore up deficits within his Department. The DEL Minister Steven Farry needs to get his act together over his handling of funding though the European Social Fund (ESF), which if not sorted out, could see the Kilcooley Women’s Centre close, or at the very least have its education services decimated. I have been advised that DEL owes the Kilcooley Women’s Centre an eye watering £75,000 in back payments for salaries, HMRC, pensions, certificate and accreditations for students. I would implore the Minister to do what is right, and sort this mess out which was created by your department. As the Kilcooley Women’s Centre is a center of excellence for providing Education for Women Educational needs right across this borough you need to act and you need to act now. Ends: