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Free, fun, design a tattoo courses - funded by the Welsh Government - but should taxpayers' cash be spent on this?

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

Design your own tattoo courses are being offered in Bridgend, funded by the Welsh Government.

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IF you want to learn how to design a tattoo - the Welsh Government might pay for you to have a go.

But questions have been asked today as to whether taxpayer’s money should be spent on the "design your own tattoo" course in Bridgend.

The Bridgend Communities First programme, funded by the Welsh Government, will see three one-day courses offered.

The aim is said to be to improve people’s job prospects and boost their self-esteem.

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Up to 14 people aged at least 16 will take part in each “free, fun interactive course” to “develop your artistic skills to be able to design tattoos for yourself and others".

But Liberal Democrat and Swansea-based AM Peter Black has reportedly questioned the £170 spent on the course.

"These funds are being allocated to create sustainable communities and to get people into work. It is difficult to see how this venture can be justified in those terms,” said Mr Black.

"Tens of millions of pounds have been spent on Communities First over the last decade or so but what indicators that are available show that in employment, health and education terms this money has had little impact.

"This important regeneration programme is not delivering what is expected of it and now we see it being reduced to fun tattoo design classes.”

But a spokesman for Jeff Cuthbert, the Welsh Government’s minister for communities and tackling poverty, is reported to have said in response: "Peter Black's comments are ill-informed, snobbish and grossly misleading.

“The truth is he has seen one advert about one small project in one Communities First area and run to the press without first making proper enquiries about the facts of the matter."

And Bridgend council is quoted as saying: "The ‘design your own tattoo’ session should not be taken at face value as it is carefully structured to help people develop confidence and important skills in areas such as communication, creative thinking and working with others.

“Such sessions can often provide the spark that inspires someone to get back into education, enrol on a training course or ultimately find a job.”

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