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What has Europe done for us?

In the dark days of the late 1980s Coalville survived with help from European grants set up to help struggling pit towns. RECHAR funded the mineral line at the Snibston Mine. Up until last year a former industrial engine shuttled passengers between the Museum and the town centre on high days and holidays, contributing to the local economy.

In 2014-15 the European Social Fund helped Confident Communities based in the Springboard Centre to set up a project to support people with low literacy levels said to be a “legacy of coalfield closures and low aspirations”.

A few miles south of Coalville £1.4 million pounds of European funding will launch a scheme aimed at boosting the rural economy across North Warwickshire, Hinckley and Bosworth

Europe funds projects that help people living in disadvantaged communities, such as Coalville. Apparently there is £152m available to North West Leicestershire from Europe. According to the European Commission website, “To apply, [for funding] public and private organisations should contact the authorities in their country. The European Commission sets funding priorities but is not directly involved in selecting projects.”

I have looked at the County Council’s Strategy for Industrial Development in Coalville. So far, it  seems to involve evicting existing business that provide established and reliable jobs so the Council can increase its rental income as well as demolishing industrial warehouses so this Council can save on business rates.

When advising the people of Coalville how to answer the “iceberg question” being put to them on the 23rd June, I will be advising them to vote to stay IN Europe. I also will be advising them to look a little closer at the UK authorities distributing the funds and ask who is actually benefiting from the cash.

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