Thursday, 14 April 2011

Professor Pongoo's on the dole now

Me and Prof Pongoo, in happier times.
Unemployment stats came out yesterday. Still higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK and youth unemployment continues to concern. One stat that wasn't reported though was that of Professor Pongoo, aka Mike Ferrigan, who had been delivering fine work in the Pentlands area, through his PIPER project, working with schools and Parent Councils to take the message of carbon reduction and energy efficiency into local communities. His alter ego, the Professor, was especially good at delivering the message to children and was a popular sight from Oxgangs to Balerno and Currie to Fairmilehead. Unfortunately, some bright spark within, or attached to, the Scottish Government decided that the latest round of Climate Challenge Funding would be prioritised towards new projects rather than existing ones and Mike's PIPER project was binned. Anyone with any experience of these smaller projects will be aware that a lot of time, energy and cost is required to get the thing started and hopefully it then goes on to prove its worth, exactly what PIPER had done. But instead of developing a model that was so obviously successful, funding is now directed to projects that have to start from scratch. It seems a bit counter productive to me and has resulted in Professor Pongoo getting his P45. If anyone is able to offer a job to a 6ft penguin please let me know.....

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