Federal Europe cuts AWM funding

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Federal Europe has cut the funding it gives to member states through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The unelected regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), has received £440m from the ERDF over the last 6 years but will only get £270m for the next 6 years.  At an average net cost of £873 per year per person for membership of the EU, the £440m was a very poor return on the £4.6bn that membership cost the 5.27 million people who live in the West Midlands euroregion; £270m is an insult.

AWM says that it will “do more with less” and claims that the £270m will help create 10,000 new jobs, kick start 2,500 new businesses and attract £19m of private sector money.  This might be the case if AWM were hitting targets but as we pointed out last month they’re missing 4 out of 6 targets they’ve been set by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and one of them they are on target to miss by 95%.

John Edwards, the outgoing Chief Executive of AWM, said “We have consulted widely to ensure that every part of the West Midlands region has its say in how this money will be spent”.  What he actually means is that they have asked “business leaders” what they want AWM to spend our money on for their benefit.

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