A regeneration project to revitalise one of Birmingham's poorest areas is still feeling the effects of mistakes by its previous board, a senior director said.
The #53 million Aston Pride programme, which aims to transform the lives of 14,300 people living in the inner city, has helped only 141 people to find work in three years.
Aston Pride's directors stood down in 2003 after intervention by the Department for Trade and Industry. The directors stepped down after failing to deliver regeneration targets and a subsequent investigation uncovered financial incompetence.
A new board, which was constituted in April 2003 with more representatives from statutory bodies and fewer from the local community, now runs the organisation.
Ken Hardeman, the city council's cabinet member for regeneration and an Aston Pride board member, admitted the job creation figure was less than impressive.
Coun Hardeman ( Con Billesley), who was born and brought up in Aston, said: "It has not been quite as productive as we would have hoped."
Mistakes by the former board, which had backed inappropriate projects, were still having an impact, he said.
However, Coun Hardeman insisted Aston Pride was beginning to make progress.
He added: "The new board is trying to make investment in schemes more focused and subject to monitoring. There is now a genuine sense that priorities are more relevant and productive."
A report to the council regeneration committee includes an update on employment: "In conjunction with its partners, Aston Pride has secured job readiness training and employment for more than 100 unemployed people since 2002."
A council spokeswoman said the exact figure was 141. The report emphasises that Aston Pride will ensure that local residents can fill some of the 2,500 jobs to be created at the former IMI Witton site, which is being redeveloped over the next ten years.
Coun Hardeman pointed to a Mori opinion poll which showed an improved feel-good factor in the area.
The number of residents worried about being burgled was down to 53 per cent, from 63 per cent in 2002, while satisfaction with the police had risen to 57 per cent from a low of 49 per cent.
More households have access to the internet, at 41 per cent compared with 36 per cent, while the number of residents who feel the area is much or slightly worse is 29 per cent, compared with 38 per cent three years ago.
Mark Hill, chairman of the regeneration scrutiny committee, said he wanted Aston Pride to focus more on training and creating jobs. He pointed out that unemployment in the Aston Pride area remained stubbornly high, well in excess of 20 per cent.
Coun Hill (Con Brandwood) added: "If they have created only 141 jobs in three years, then that is of great concern.
"I am worried about the remoteness of decisionmaking without public consultation and the value for money aspect."
Established in 2001, Aston Pride has a ten-year delivery programme.
Its vision statement reads: "We will transform the economic culture of Aston by reducing unemployment and raising household incomes and all family members will aspire to fulfil their potential and collaborate as a community in achieving a consensus and common purpose."