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AAP Funding Control Removed by Council

by Craig Martin on 24 August, 2020

Since moving out of lock down, Action Area Partnerships have had the way they allocate funding reviewed. The community set funding priorities have been removed so that the only thing they can focus on is Covid recovery related projects. I’ve been raising concerns that the communities AAP’s represent now have next to no say on how funding is spent.

AAPs were originally set up when district council’s were abolished, to give areas a say on what projects they wanted funding, rather than those sat in County Hall. Removing priorities that were consulted on and agreed in Chester-le-Street is a reduction in local democracy.

Although it has been reiterated that the new rules allow for a lot of flexibility, that any project can get funding along as there is a link to Covid recovery. But for example, items such defibrillators can no longer be funded, although it saves the lives of those having heart attacks, there is no link to supporting those recovering for various Covid related issues. True flexibility would have come from Durham County Council allowing an additional priority being added onto AAP’s funding list for Covid recovery, rather than dictating how AAPs will be run.

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