DSD cash boost for borough

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A Generic Photo of Sterling. See PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FINANCE Finance Column.

Ballymena’s Citizens’ Advice and the borough’s four community clusters are to benefit from an additional £7,788 awarded by the DSD.

Councillors were informed of the cash at a committee meeting last Monday night when it was pointed out that it had to be allocated to support expenditure within their Community Support Programme and used by March 31.

A Council officer said the development and implementation of the Community Clusters of Ballymena East Rural, Bann Maine West, Ballymena South and Ballymena North were central to that programme but that their operating costs exceeded Councils £20k allocation to each per annum.

The Officer recommended that up to £3,863.68 be made available to the clusters from the additional DSD funding for the delivery of joint projects focusing on already identified themes including youth activities and the development of an older people’’s event.

The remaining amount of £3,925 was recommended for allocation to Ballymena CAB to sustain telephone/media provision until March 31.

It was pointed out that this would sustain the posts of three members of the current staff, allowing for the provision of 64 hours per week of advice services.