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The Ministry of Social Development has revised a recent policy decision that would have affected 40 Dunedin jobs.
A face to face meeting in Wellington between Dunedin Mayor, Dave Cull, and Ministry of Social Development officials, and intense behind the scenes lobbying by DCC staff locally, appears to have encouraged the Ministry to review its plans to withdraw funding of local Activity In The Community (AIC) employment programmes for Sickness and Invalid Benefit workers.
The Ministry had planned to cut funding of $50,000 which would have left 40 or more AIC employees out of a job.
Mayor Cull says, “I’m very pleased the Ministry has listened to our representations and its change of stance means 40 Activity In The Community workers will continue to make their valuable contribution to the city’s well-being through meaningful and satisfying employment.
"The Council notes that the purpose of the scheme is to transition 'non-work tested clients into better life opportunities'. We are pleased the scheme can continue fostering people through the programme and give them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
“It is also further proof, if any was needed, of the value of a continuing central Government presence in Dunedin.”
The AIC programme provides a range of services including graffiti control, beautification work, planting, roadside/footpath vegetation control, cemetery maintenance, litter collection, fence and hand-rail maintenance and sports ground and recreational services across the city.
The AIC workers have also assisted a wide variety of clubs and organisations over the years including the Dunedin Amenities Society, Keep Dunedin Beautiful and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust to name but a few.