Concern about tender paper unfounded say council

Concerns at the Riverside Day Centre in Newton Stewart over a delay in receiving tender papers from Dumfries and Galloway Council to secure future funding are unfounded, say the council.

Chairman of the board at the day centre, Bill Stuart told The Galloway Gazette: “The council were supposed to have sent out the tender papers to the day centres so they could prepare their tenders and submit them by the 31st but there is a problem and the council cannot tell when the papers will be sent out.”

But a council spokesperson said: “The process for the allocation of funding to the 10 voluntary day centres across the region is still under consideration. It had originally been the intention to issue tender documents around mid-October. There was never any intention for these to be returned by the end of October – a normal length of time for return would be around seven weeks.

“We are committed to keeping the day centres informed and as soon as there is confirmation of the process and levels of funding for each day centre from April 2014 we will be communicating this to them. We will ensure any delay in the process does not impact negatively on the day centres.”

Day centres across the region face a cut in funding from the start of the next financial year, but the Riverside Day Centre have been proactive in highlighting the challenge ahead of raising around £40,000 a year to plug the funding black hole.

Since the news broke a year ago, many organisations and individuals have, so far, raised £28,000 to help the popular day centre continue to operate.

Eric and Anna Sloan for Newton Stewart completed the Crazy Screwball Car Rally on the continent raising £2400, The House o’ the Hill is giving a donation next week, following a successful beer festivals.

An offer to be a ‘friend of the day centre’ at a cost of £20 received 160 replies there is also a variety concert in the pipeline with all the performers are giving their time and talents free of charge.

Bill added: “I really must thank all the people who have raised money for the Riverside. We only started in March/April and the total will be may well be more than £28,000. I am amazed that there are so many people willing to help us. It tells you an awful lot about the people of this area.”