Cash warning for Derry advice centres

Advice centres in Londonderry have been warned their funding will be cut or withdrawn if they wrongly record the number of people using their service.

Derry City Council funds the centres based on the numbers using them.

But it's already taken action against one after an audit last year found it had inflated its figures by 300 per cent.

The warning comes as the council prepares to sign off on a new £300,000 funding package for five centres.

Last year, a council audit found that Galliagh Integrated Advice and Rosemount Resource Centre had inflated their contact figures by 300 and 200 per cent respectively.

It also said figures recorded by Dove House in the Bogside were 'difficult to explain'.

All three accepted they made errors but denied any intention to mislead and blamed a complicated recording system.

The council has now recommended a new formula to calculate further funding.

It has commissioned another audit and warned that funding may be suspended, cut or even withdrawn if the new guidelines are not met.

It has also frozen Galliagh Integrated Advice's funding for a year and says it will be withdrawn if there's no improvement in its record-keeping in the next four months.