Backroom Deals Threaten Kids Summer Camp Rescue Plan

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We have recently reported on the devastating loss of the Summer Kids Clubs in Auchterarder which were normally run by Live Active Leisure.

In recent weeks the volunteer members of the Lang Toon Childcare Hub have been working tirelessly to try and arrange a suitable alternative before the start of the school summer holidays.

The Auchterarder Community Facilities Fund seemed to fit the bill for its ability to make a quick decision on funding, and the criteria that had to be met in order to apply.  With support from local councillors, local community councillors and the parent teacher council in the school, everything looked very positive that an alternative summer programme could be put in place.

Here at Lang Toon Times we are very concerned to hear rumours that this funding application could be refused.  The reason for this refusal?  It would seem that some shadowy back room deal between PKC and developers means that the fund cannot be used to fund a need that is a result of PKC cuts.

This is where it gets a bit complicated so please bear with me and if you want to just cut out the legalese then please feel free to skip past the section in italics. 

The Auchterarder Community Facilities fund criteria is as follows – (Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee 7 September 2016 Auchterarder Community Facilities Fund Report by Director (Environment)) – 2.5 Applications for funding are required to meet the following criteria:

 Projects should be located within the settlement boundary of Auchterarder as defined by the adopted Local Development Plan.

Projects which start within the boundary but extend outwith such as core path improvements would be acceptable;

 Projects should be linked to mitigating the impact of the housing within the scope of the Auchterarder Development Framework on the public realm or facilities;

 Projects should improve the amenity of the public realm or facilities and

should consider a range of funding streams in addition to the Community Facilities Fund to ensure maximum value. Money cannot be used for projects which are already fully funded from other sources but can be used to supplement funding already secured.

 Projects should identify any ongoing maintenance or eventual replacement costs and demonstrate that this can be secured through existing or future budgets.

As you can see, the criteria does not state anything about PKC cuts. 

Looking at the website of Live Active Leisure, it states – Registered Office: Caledonia House, Hay Street, PERTH, PH1 5HS. Registered in Scotland No SC042641 VAT Registration No: 1254634 26 A Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity No. SC000175. 

Even in Perth and Kinross Council paperwork Live Active Leisure is described as a stand alone entity. As Live Active Leisure provided the Summer Camps, wouldn’t that mean that they were provided by a company and not PKC?

To paraphrase the above – Live Active Leisure is a private company, it is not PKC, therefore the Summer Camps were not provided by PKC.  Also, nowhere in the criteria for applications to the Community Facilities Fund does it mention that an application must not be trying to replace something that used to be provided by PKC.   

When was this decision taken and by whom?  Why has this not been made public on the application guidelines for the fund? 

Auchterarder Community Facilities Fund has already given £50,000 to the upgrade of the Provost Walk.  Forgive me if I seem to be a bit dense her but wasn’t the maintenance of the Provost Walk previously within the remit of PKC?

It seems very strange that there would appear to have been agreements made outwith the minuted reports which can have a huge effect on our local community.  The fact that the funds available are to be returned to developers if they are not spent within 5 years may become more relevant if applications are being refused in this manner.

First the link road opening date was delayed in what would appear to have been a private agreement between developers and PKC.  Now we have a facilities fund for the local community that would appear to have additional criteria added to applications resulting from a private agreement between developers and PKC. 

Auchterarder seems to be at the mercy of developers and PKC making backroom deals to the detriment of the residents of the very houses they are building.

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