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Minister Sets Out the Way Forward for Plas Madoc
Social Justice Minister, Carl Sargeant responded to the report into the affairs of Plas Madoc Communities First partnership in Wrexham published yesterday 17 March by setting out his intentions for the programme in Plas Madoc.
Serious failings have been identified regarding the arrangements for achieving value for money, financial control, and to wider governance issues – in particular behaviours out of line with the Standards of Conduct in Public Life set out by Lord Nolan, the Nolan Principles.
The Minister said:
“I must repeat that I deplore the actions which have led to public funds being diverted from their intended purpose. This matter has been referred to North Wales Police for consideration of possible criminal activity.
“As I said yesterday, the audit concerns relate to the financial mismanagement of a small proportion of the funding routed through the Plas Madoc partnership and there is no suggestion that the majority of funding has not been used for its intended purpose.
“I hope that the services that the Communities First programme in Plas Madoc provides to the local community can be sustained. Arrangements will be made to channel the funding through other agencies so that the programme of activities can be maintained with minimum disruption.
“For the Plas Madoc partnership to continue to play a role in delivering services, it will need to overhaul its working practices and regain the trust of the local community. To assist in this and to rebuild the programme on stronger foundations, tailored support will be made available from the Communities First Advice Service delivered through the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
The Minister added that there are also lessons in the report for the Assembly Government’s management of the programme.
“Work has already been put in place to improve the governance of the Communities First programme and the report of the Governance Review together with the additional audit inspections of Communities First partnerships will be published.
“Failings of the sort which arose in Plas Madoc risk damaging the reputation of the whole programme even though the responsibility for these failings lies with those directly involved. I will not tolerate such failings.
“Those working within the Communities First programme to faithfully delivering vital services and support for local people in disadvantaged communities, continue to have my full support.”
Related LinksLocally based projects are in place to enhance community safety and regeneration and to reduce levels of crime, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic violence.