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first_imgWith less than three months remaining until the EU rural development projects are taken over by County Councils, serious concerns have arisen that employees currently working for the Leader companies will lose their jobs at the end of June.Councillor Ian McGarveyThe Tirconail Tribune report that staff at the Donegal Leader Companies including DLDC in Letterkenny have been left in the dark about their future employment under the new regime from July 1st.It appears that around eight posts in Letterkenny have remained unfilled since it was announced that the current administration model was being changed. And according to sources, the five full time employees in Letterkenny have been left in the dark with no communication as to their future status.The former number of 1,500 employees of Leader companies across Ireland has been halved and most of those left have no idea if they will have a job in July.Cllr. Ian McGarvey said he is aware of the issues involved and he does not agree with the new mechanism because it is a further attempt to take funds away from rural Ireland.He is raising the issue with Council officials this week. Since the Donegal Local Development Company was founded the company has been one of Donegal’s major success stories with a track record that no other government agency can match. The company has been instrumental in overseeing the delivery of €55 million in that period with direct funding of €23 million in grant assistance to hundred of projects.With Donegal going to get €12.9 million in rural development funding between now and 2020 the cut from the previous allocation of €25 million is more serious because for the first time the urban area of Letterkenny is now included. We are being told that Leader must now embrace a wide range of community projects for the Letterkenny area on a seriously reduced budget. And as a consequence many rural based initiatives may have to be scrapped entirely.This means that the overall cut to the Donegal allocation may be in the order of 55% said one political source this week.Already the new funding mechanism is causing political ructions. Eamon O’Cuiv of FF has accused the Environment Minister, Alan Kelly of effectively taking away €250 million of rural development funding from ‘truly rural areas’ and redirecting it to more urban locations. He is to raise his concerns with the EU Commission.For the past 22 years, Leader funding has allowed investment to thousands of projects in rural Ireland and in terms of the number of jobs it supports it has been a big success.. Part of that success story has been the way it has been administered and managed locally. Launched in 1991 by the then Commissioner for Agriculture, Ray MacSharry, funding under Leader was administered by not for profit local development companies who distributed grants and other supports to projects within their areas.The approach and success of the programme in Ireland was regarded internationally as a model of best practice and the Irish LDCs are at the forefront of an EU-wide Leader movement constituting more than 2,000 groups in 28 member states. That is all about to change.Environment Minister Phil Hogan decided to ‘align’ the LDCs with local authorities under ‘socio-economic committees’ (SECs). The fear is that these largely voluntary bodies will be eventually subsumed within county councils, with all the bureaucracy and politicisation that this method entails.Opposition to the Government’s plan is being spearheaded by the Irish Local Development Network, which in the past year supported almost 2,000 enterprises and administered €200m in funding. It contends that the change would cost the Government more than €20m, would put 2,000 jobs at risk and could even jeopardise further EU funding. Independent MEP Marian Harkin has pointed out that the success of the community groups in terms of job creation was at least on a par with the achievements of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Claiming that the move will “eliminate genuine community voluntary participation and replace it with jobs for the boys”, she said that one of the abiding strengths of the local community structure was that it did not have friends in high places.In those circumstances many political and community leaders will find it very difficult see any good reason for dismantling a system that has provided jobs in areas that foreign investment rarely touches. It is not as if the local authorities have been clamouring for such a role. They do not want the job, presumably because they recognise that they have neither the experience nor the expertise to match the achievements to date.The representative body of Leader companies in Ireland, the Irish Local Development Network has said that reduced investment in rural Ireland under the Rural Development Programme will have far reaching consequences for those most marginalised in rural Ireland.John Walsh, ILDN Chairman said: “The current Leader programme implemented by their Local Development Companies has been a huge success for rural Ireland. Since 2009, 8,698 rural enterprises were funded through Leader which supported the creation of 4,084 rural jobs. This during one of the worst economic times Ireland has faced in recent decades. Leader also improved the quality of life for rural communities with significant investments in community infrastructure across the country.”He adds: “At a time when rural communities are hit daily with reductions in public services, Post Offices closures and the scaling back of rural transport services, this additional cut will be seen by many as another slash and burn announcement for rural Ireland.”Meanwhile those currently employed by the Leader Companies can only wait and hope they will still have a job on July 1st.CONCERN OVER FUTURE OF LEADER JOBS IN DONEGAL was last modified: April 9th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cllr Ian McGarveydonegaljobsLEADERlast_img read more

IPL: I need a new challenge, doesn’t matter who picks me, says Ravichandran Ashwin

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first_imgWith the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ draft scheduled for December 15, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday said he was looking forward to a new challenge in the cash-rich league, adding that it doesn’t matter to him which franchise picks him.Sanjiv Goenka’s ‘New Rising’ won the bid for the Pune franchise while Intex won for Rajkot after a reverse bidding process held in New Delhi on December 8.Goenka’s company will shell out Rs.16 crores while Intex will pay Rs.10 crores to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).”In three days time, Pune or Rajkot will be my new summer destination. Looking forward to a new beginning and more challenges,” Ashwin tweeted.”If I don’t make it to both of these teams, I will go into the auction. Does not matter who picks me, all I need is new challenges. No stagnating,” the Chennai-born spinner said.Till the 2015 IPL season, Ashwin represented Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and played under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.But after the suspension of IPL franchises CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) in July this year from the league for two years by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee in the spot fixing and betting scandal that rocked the Twenty20 tournament in 2013, two new teams were introduced for two years by the country’s cricket board.Pune will be given the choice to pick the players first because they were the lowest bidders (negative bids) to buy the new team for two years.advertisementCSK and RR will be allowed back in the league after serving their suspension.The ninth edition of the IPL is scheduled from April 9 to May 29 next year.last_img read more

Community remembers Guardian Flight crew lost in January plane crash

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first_img“It touched a lot of us back home,” Wilson said. “We hope that we’re able to bring some comfort to the family by being here.” Recovery efforts went on for two months after the Guardian Flight plane went missing. Search crews recovered parts of the plane, including the cockpit voice recorder, but they were unable to locate any sign of the crew. The decision to come to the memorial service was just as immediate. Fire and EMS personnel from Kake also spoke at the service. Some of them were waiting at the airstrip that night with a patient awaiting pickup. Kake fire chief Calvin Wilson Jr. said their community of about 600 people relies on private air ambulance companies like Guardian Flight for lifesaving medical transports. After the service, mourners filed outside where helicopters staged an honorary flyover. Hundreds turned out, including many members of Juneau’s first responder community who came to pay their respects. Guardian Flight pilot Eric Magnusson said he and his colleagues are forever grateful for the support they’ve received. “They came and cared for us and supported us, and it was an amazing thing that they did,” Magnusson said. “We’re just all very, very grateful.” A helicopter flies over the memorial service for three air ambulance crew members who died when their plane went down in January 2019. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)center_img “Anywhere from the little babies up to the Elders, and our community is really thankful for that,” Wilson said. In an emotional memorial service at Juneau-Douglas High School, speakers remembered pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, paramedic Margaret Langston, 43, and flight nurse Stacie Morse, 30, who was pregnant with a daughter named Delta Rae when the plane disappeared over Frederick Sound on Jan. 29. The resounding message was this: Each of them loved their job and will be greatly missed. Fellow first responders honored the crew with a traditional last call ceremony, symbolizing the end of their shift. When the plane didn’t arrive, he said residents began helping with the search within minutes. Guardian Flight colleagues remembered Coyle’s sense of humor and generosity, Langston’s warmth and composure and Morse’s infectious smile and passion for nursing. Four months after a medevac plane went down near Kake, family, friends and colleagues gathered Friday to honor the Juneau-based crew members who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The National Transportation Safety Board is still analyzing the evidence to determine what happened.last_img read more