Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 09:08 UK

Funding anger from women's group

Woman typing
The WWNC collated the views of the groups it represented to give to policy makers

An organisation which represents women's groups in Wales says it will close after being refused funding from the assembly government.

The Wales Women's National Coalition(WWNC) has relied assembly government on funding since 2001.

But its request for £98,500 of core funding over the next year has been rejected and it will close in June.

The assembly government said it had given a quarter of the relevant funding pot to women's groups in Wales.

The Wales Women's National Coalition (WWNC) says it speaks on behalf of more than 50 organisations representing women in Wales since it was set up in 1997.

It represents their views with assembly government policy makers.

There are big issues in womens' representation and we are very disappointed
Naomi Brightmore

And also represents their voice at international events alongside similar bodies in England and Scotland.

Naomi Brightmore from the WWNC said that if it closes it would mean these views would not be heard at national and international level.

She said: "In England and Scotland, the equivalent organisations providing these services are 100% government funded."

She said a change to the funding process had meant this year the WWNC had had to compete with some of its member organisations for money.

"It is simply not appropriate to ask us to compete," said Ms Brightmore.

Careful consideration

She said that 52% of the Welsh population was female and was concerned that views collated by the WWNC from the organisations it represents would no longer be heard.

"There are big issues in women's representation and we are very disappointed."

An assembly government spokesman said: "The WWNC bid for funding under the advancing equality fund.

"The fund was open to bids in autumn 2009 and the WWNC were unsuccessful in their application.

"After this initial decision was made in February, the WWNC made a representation to the Social Justice and Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant but after careful consideration he was unable to grant funding.

"The WWNC was under a 12 month transitional funding arrangement which they knew would come to an end at the end of March 2010.

"A quarter of the advancing equality fund has been allocated to women's organisations in Wales," he added.

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