I was disappointed by your article about healthy living centres. Its criticism of the application process is light on critical analysis - it was based on 11 unsuccessful applicants (rather unsurprising that the feeling was negative? ). A more objective report would have taken into account the views of successful projects such as ours - St Sidwell's Centre, Exeter.
St Sidwell's Centre was one of the earliest recipients of a New Opportunities Fund healthy living centre award of£466,000.
The process from start to finish for our project took little more than 12 months - hardly the two to three years you claim applicants are waiting. The application process is transparent and accountable.
We are a small local charity and at no stage considered outside consultants to help with the application. Your reference to the use of consultants probably illustrates the rising number successfully plying their trade, rather than the demands, of the process. Scarce resources require a thorough assessment.
Our experience of the healthy living centre programme has been extremely positive.
Tony Badcock Centre co-ordinator St Sidwell's Centre, Exeter