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Barnsley Development Agency To Close

Tuesday March 19 2013

Steve Houghton Steve Houghton

PART of Barnsley Development Agency which supports the borough's unemployed is to close because it's no longer viable.

Barnsley Development Agency Ltd will fold on March 31 after fewer people than expected were referred on to its Work Programme.

It will be up to Barnsley Council to underwrite the closure, at a cost of £716,000, which will cover pensions for those staff who've worked there since it was set up in 1998.

However, the arm of Barnsley Development Agency that supports businesses through Enterprising Barnsley and account management to major employers, will remain intact.

BDA Limited managed the government's 'Work Programme' contract which is aimed at getting the long-term unemployed back into work, and is paid based on results.

Most people are referred onto the programme by Jobcentre Plus after they have been unemployed for between three and 12 months.

Council leader Steve Houghton said it had not generated the numbers needed to make it viable.

"The council had a decision to make - either close it down and cut our losses, or end up subsiding the Work Programme through our own resources, and given the budget cuts, we cannot afford to do that.

The council will continue to run its Work Programme contract, managed by the Community Learning and Information Service, and other providers in town are A4E and Wiseability.

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Reply Posted by rainbow on Tuesday March 19 2013 at 11:52
It's time some of our councillors had a taste of unemployment, they're brilliant at closing down things aimed at the less fortunate in our society but always seem to have money to throw at things like Digital Media, Barnsley Football Club, Town Hall Fountains etc etc. If they spent our money on us, as they should, Barnsley would be a far better place for it. Still while ever we keep slavishly voting Labour we'll just get what we deserve, a second rate town..!

Reply Posted by J>D> on Friday March 22 2013 at 16:39
Well said RAINBOW at last sense prevails.

Reply Posted by Toby Tyke on Friday March 22 2013 at 16:50
I love all the anti Labour comments. Like the Tories or Libdems would do any better for Barnsley if they were the majority party.The ConDems have reduced BMBC's budget by £44million. How do you expect them to do everything it did with that money missing..?!?!?!

Reply Posted by Brian on Friday March 22 2013 at 22:57
Toby, come on, get real. Would you really want this labour lot to run a business of yours? The council is full of deadbeats with no drive,determination or the ability to make things happen. They are time-servers riding on the gravy train. They lead dull lives and being a councillor makes them feel important. Get shut of most of them I say.