Birmingham Friends of the Earth call for fairness and transparency in public funding
Partnership’s bid for £15 million from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to subsidise
the airport’s runway extension was ruled ineligible under round one, but is looking
for more transparency in future rounds. (see story below, from 27.1.2011)
enable the 350-metre runway extension, is still likely to be asked for in future
rounds by the board, but the campaigns group, Friends of he Earth, believes public
money should not be sought for such projects.
in the RGF bidding process. Why should it be left to an unelected and unaccountable
body to decide which projects take precedent and indeed which projects are bid
for? There is no public scrutiny or opportunity to input into this process”.
due to the huge environmental impacts of the aviation industry and the rise in
noise pollution that it will create. However, they also feel that it is unacceptable
that public funds should subsidize this commercial airport project, especially
at a time when huge cutbacks are being made in public sector jobs and funding
for other transport projects.
local, low-carbon transport projects, not further feather-bedding the aviation
industry even more. When the rest of us are suffering financially, why should
they enjoy such perks as being exempt from paying VAT and get taxpayers to pay
for moving this road?”
a local, national and international level.
issues, please visit
Short-term ‘quick win’ projects given priority for regeneration cash 27.1.2011 (Birmingham Post)
the former MG Rover site at Longbridge have been put on hold after the Government
changed the rules over using cash from the Regional Growth Fund.
to create jobs in the near future would be considered in the first round of bidding
for the £1.4billion fund.
particularly in regions which are currently unduly dependent on the public sector,
and a first round of bidding began in October with up to £300 million up for grabs.
21 that only schemes likely to create significant numbers of jobs in the short
term would be considered.
West Midlands were forced to scrap carefully prepared bids for key programmes
to support the local economy.
big idea to help the West Midlands prosper but it has just descended into chaos.”
sector jobs as the public sector sheds staff over the next 12 months, and not
“programmes” which will take longer to have an impact, although the Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills stressed that long-term schemes will be eligible
for later rounds of bidding.
decided it can only support two proposals – a request for support for Midlands-based
carmaker Jaguar Land Rover and support for the FA’s National Football Centre in
not now receive the active support of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in
this first round of bidding, which includes business organisations and local authorities
in Birmingham, Solihull, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield
the A45 Coventry Road, to enable Birmingham Airport’s 350-metre runway extension
to be built.
pay for infrastructure improvements at Longbridge, as part of a £1 billion regeneration
project on the 468-acre site.
continued to back the proposals, describing the airport expansion as “probably our top shared priority”. But he said: “We hope it will get through in round two.
to government that something qualifies if it doesn’t meet the criteria.”
now been put on the back burner include:
*A planned £22 million development fund for small and medium sized businesses
in the area
*A £2.1 million bid for a retail development project to encourage growth of
high-value independent shops in Birmingham
*A £1 million bid to support an apprenticeship training programme for young
people in Birmingham
*A £3.2 million graduate retention programme across the LEP area
*A £5 million bid to support the development of Birmingham’s biomedical industries.
*A £7 million bid for completion of infrastructure to deliver the Eastside regeneration
Board, said: “We didn’t have the latest criteria until at most a week before we
had to make the submissions, so it did alter what the LEP supported last week.
is that there will be another tranche.
second round and the types of bids that will be considered.”
became much clearer in a rush, and it meant that the majority of bids we have
seen are unlikely to be successful, because not many of them can deliver private
sector employment overnight at good value.”
in round two, he said.
would not receive support in the first round of bidding for cash, and said it
would be seeking clarification from the LEP.