MP Gloria De Piero slams ministers for not handing over funds to Ashfield and Eastwood

GLORIA DE PIERO -- "this is bad for passengers and the local economy".
GLORIA DE PIERO -- "this is bad for passengers and the local economy".

Ashfield and Eastwood’s MP has slated ministers for not giving her consituency any money from the Regional Growth Fund.

Gloria De Piero has accused the ministers of “completely failing” Ashfield and Eastwood after she revealed figures which show the areas will not be getting any money from the government’s funds.

The £3.2 billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is designed to help areas suffering from public sector job losses.

The fund, which was set up in 2010, provides grants to businesses and projects with the potential to grow and create jobs.

Gloria submitted a parliamentary question about the funds to business minister Anna Soubry.

She discovered that none of the projects in the area have been chosen to benefit from this scheme, which will run until 2016-17.

Ms De Piero said: “This scheme has been operating for five years now and is supposed to be supporting businesses but there’s clearly been a big problem with it when it comes to Eastwood and Ashfield.

“It just can’t be right that a single penny hasn’t even come our way and I want ministers to explain why.”

The figures also showed that 467 projects across England have been selected, with the cost of £2.8 billion.

But only just over £2 billion of this has been paid so far.

The RGF has been a controversial topic over the last few years and some members of parliament have criticised it.

The National Audit Office report also derided officials for failing to work out how many new jobs had been created.

Earlier this week Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary, admitted the government had not kept proper track of its spending.

Gloria claims that the business department is unable to properly account for money given in the 138 different projects that signed up to the RGF and then withdrew.

Mr Umunna labelled the admission “very worrying” and said it was another example of “chaos and delay in the system.”