Sheila Ritchie has secured an early meeting with EU officials to press for £22m of Scots poverty grants frozen by the EU over Scottish Government mishandling of the scheme to be released to councils and charitable organisations, as she gets to work as a Scottish MEP.
£22m of European Social Fund grants, which support projects designed to help people living in poverty to get new skills and gain work, were frozen after auditors raised concerns about the Scottish Government’s administration of the scheme. The money is typically used by councils and voluntary organisations to support a variety of local projects.
Ms Ritchie will meet with officials from the office of the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour on 25th June.
Sheila Ritchie said:
“European Social Fund grants assist people from many of the most deprived communities in Scotland. It is fantastic example of the way in which people across Scotland can benefit from being part of the EU.
“For councils and voluntary organisations to miss out as a result of a central government blunder would be devastating
“I will be using this meeting to urge the European Commission to work closely with Scottish local authorities to ensure that vital projects do not fall by the wayside while these issues are resolved.”