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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet: 28th March 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

External Funding Applications

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Cabinet of external funding applications submitted/allocated to maximise the amount of external funding grant sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives.

Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet agree the Council continues to act as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the transitional revenue funding available to the Castleland Communities First Partnership which will allow the partnership to support and engage residents and assist them in participating in the regeneration of their community;

2.             That Cabinet agree the Council continues to act as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the transitional revenue funding available to the Gibbonsdown & Court Communities First Partnership which will allow the partnership to support and engage residents and assist them in participating in the regeneration of their community;

3.             That Cabinet agree the Council acts as managing authority and project manager for the Barry Regeneration Area application submitted by Gibbonsdown Residents Board regarding Pencoedtre Park Improvements;

4.             That Cabinet approves the Barry Regeneration area Capital Grant of £200,000 and match funding of £93,887 from Section 106 money be included in the authority's capital programme, if successful. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet approves the submission of the application and on-going responsibilities as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the grant;

2.             That Cabinet approves the submission of the application and on-going responsibilities as Lead Delivery Body (LDB) for the grant;

3.             That Cabinet approves the authority act as managing authority and project manager for the Barry Regeneration area grant to improve Pencoedtre Park;

4.             That Cabinet approves the inclusion of the Barry Regeneration Area grant and associated match funding from Section 106 money for Pencoedtre Park in the authority's capital programme, if approved.  

 

Background

2.             Corporate Management Team previously agreed new procedures to improve the way in which the Council assess and co-ordinates its bids for external grant.

3.             An 'External Funding Framework' covers the practicalities of maximising external funding opportunities to meet corporate objectives. The framework highlights the criteria that potential applicants must address and those applying for external funding grant to minimise risk to the Council. 

Relevant Issues and Options

Casteland, Gibbonsdown and Court Communities First Applications  

4.             The Communities First Programme (C1st) has been in existence in Barry since 2002, with funding being awarded by the Welsh Government, enabling partnerships to be developed and to govern the community development programme in the areas of Gibbonsdown, Court and Castleland.

5.             The Welsh Government issued a consultation document in July 2011 on the future of the C1st Programme in Wales seeking responses by 26th September 2011. 

6.             From April 2012 C1st will be a Community Focussed Programme that will support the Welsh Government's Anti-Poverty Agenda. It will focus on those actions that can be taken, with the support of the community, that have the greatest impact on education/skills, economic and health outcomes. This to be achieved by:

·               Supporting those individuals, families and groups of people who have the poorest education/skills, economic and health outcomes especially in places where deprivation is most concentrated;

·               Increasing individuals' life skills, self esteem and self reliance, including their financial capability;

·               Supporting and strengthening the local activity which does most to tackle poverty and deprivation, with community organisations and communities themselves as key partners.

·               Ensuring the Cluster plan developed for each Communities First Partnership synchronises with other key plans and strategies such as the Community Strategy.   

7.             Cabinet received a report on the proposed changes and endorsed the response submitted by the Council to the Welsh Government consultation on behalf of the Castleland and Gibbonsdown/Court Communities First Partnership Boards on 16th November 2011 (C1516).   

8.             The response submitted to WG reflected the views of partners and residents on the way forward, including the areas seeking eligibility in the future and the proposed management delivery arrangements.

9.             It is proposed nine lower Super Output Areas in Barry form one cluster with a population of around 14,400. The proposed areas are: Castleland 1, Castleland 2, Cadoc 1, Cadoc 4, Court 3, Gibbonsdown 1, Gibbonsdown 2, Gibbonsdown 4 and Buttrills 2. A map illustrating the proposed LSOA attached at appendix A

10.        This cluster was developed on either the overall level of deprivation according to WIMD ranking of LSOAs (Castleland 1, Cadoc 1, Cadoc 4, Court 3, Gibbonsdown 2), high rankings within the Income and Employment domains (Gibbonsdown 1, Gibbonsdown 4 and Buttrills 2) or to take advantage of synergy with the designated Renewal Area (Castleland 2). C1st areas which form the proposed cluster for the Vale of Glamorgan were developed around linking policy initiatives and funding opportunities together to regenerate Barry.

11.        In our response we highlighted the importance of linking C1st activities into the WG Regeneration Framework. At a local level this will be delivered through linking C1st to the Barry Regeneration Area and the Renewal Area, taking advantage of synergy between programmes and economies of scale and established services and relationships. 

12.        Our response did not support the establishment of a regional tier of Central Teams stressing that the essence of C1st should be better collaboration between agencies at the local level. This to be achieved in the Vale of Glamorgan by the proposed cluster arrangements and the linking of C1st with the Barry Regeneration Area and the Renewal Area via the Regeneration Partnership. We recommended any additional resource available to explore and develop opportunities for mainstreaming programmes to support the regeneration of C1st Areas should be integrated with the Regeneration of the Barry Regeneration Area Programme.

13.        If establishing the regional tier remains the intention of the WG and is a condition of receiving the grant, our response proposed that discussion should take place with Bridgend and Cardiff to weigh up the best option. However, the preference of the Vale of Glamorgan Council as lead body would be for a region consisting of the Vale and Bridgend.  

14.        As part of the consultation WG offered a six month extension to existing funding arrangements to September 30th 2012. Both the Casteland and Gibbonsdown and Court Partnerships have taken-up this opportunity for 6 months transitional funding. This will enable them added time to further sustain current projects, whilst undertaking statistical analysis and consultation to further equip them with the necessary information to support the successful move into the new phase of the Community Focussed Programme, supporting the Welsh Government's Anti-Poverty Agenda from September 2012. Applications covering the six month extension period 1st April 2012 - 30th September 2012 were submitted to WG in November and approved on 16th December 2011. Draft action plans were submitted to WG at the end of January.   (Gibbonsdown & Court awarded £78,217.26, Castleland awarded £87,269.84).

15.        The transitional project will be delivered through Welsh Government funded C1st staff (Co-ordinators, Development Officers and Administrative Officers) who will be delivering on existing and new targets set by the Partnerships in response to identified need. Gibbonsdown & Court Action Plan (appendix B) and Castleland Action Plan (appendix C).

16.        Both C1st Partnerships will work together during the transitional period to examine the priority needs of not only existing Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) but potential future LSOA which have been identified following an assessment of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2011. Prospective targets, activities and cluster outcomes will be devised during the transitional period, enabling the partnerships to work towards developing the proposed Barry Cluster, with a population size of around 14,400.

17.        The WG have issued interim guidance and an application pack to assist those preparing funding applications for new clusters. In future there will be a Delivery Plan for each cluster based on a new Outcomes Framework for C1st. This will have three main strands: Health and Wellbeing (Healthy Communities), Education and Skills (Learning Communities), Economy and Environment (Prosperous Communities) - and will be based on the Results Based Accountability Model.

18.        Supporting work with Children and Young People will remain a priority of the C1st Programme which will still be able to support a wide variety of work. However, work undertaken will need to relate to one or more of the three main strands of the Outcomes Framework above and be required to demonstrate the contribution to tackling poverty.

19.        In addition, each cluster will be required to have a bespoke Community Involvement Plan which sets out the wide range of engagement undertaken by each cluster to include information sharing, active participation, development work and empowerment of local people. Applications must be submitted to WG by 29th June 2011 and will be subject to a further Cabinet report.

20.        Following WG issuing guidance, Communities First staff are working with Council colleagues and a range of partners to prepare applications and plans for the new cluster arrangements. This includes discussions on how Communities First could link into the performance management arrangements developed for key partnerships in the Vale and to review the current management and working group structure which now reports to the Regeneration Partnership.

Pencoedtre Park Improvements, Barry 

21.        Pencoedtre Park is situated within the Gibbonsdown and Court C1st Programme area. The application relates proposed improvements to the park which have been developed in consultation with residents and are based on the ideas which have come forward from the Residents Board. The work involves converting the paddling pool to a splash pool, the changing room toilet to unisex/disabled, renewing the play area and lighting improvements.

22.        The proposed work would cost £293,887, and the application relates to £200,000 capital grant being sought from the Barry Regeneration Area funding to carry out the range of improvements which would increase use and enjoyment of the park. Match funding of £93,887 has been secured from Section 106 funding.

23.        The project would be led by the Residents Board who traditionally arrange a number of summer activities and the improvements would enable outdoor activities to be expanded within a safe and managed environment.      

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

24.        The Welsh Government revenue application of £78,217.26 relates to the employment of staff on temporary contracts to develop the capacity of individuals and groups within the Gibbonsdown & Court C1st area for the period 1st April 2012 until 30th September 2012.

25.        The Welsh Government application of £87,269.84 concerns the employment of staff on temporary contracts to enhance the capacity of residents and groups within the Castleland C1st area for the period 1st April 2012 until 30th September 2012.

26.        Welsh Government funding is required to deliver the C1st Programme in Barry. The external grant is required to employ a co-ordinator, development worker and administrator for each of the two Communities First Partnerships in the Vale.

27.        The Vale of Glamorgan Council acts as lead body and employs the staff to support both the Castleland and Gibbonsdown & Court Partnerships.

28.        The Council would project manage and deliver the Pencoedtre Park Improvements scheme. Contracts would be procured in accordance with Council Financial Regulations. £93,887 from section 106 has been secured as match funding for the £200,000 Barry Regeneration Area application.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

29.        The Council continues to act as lead body for the Welsh Government Grants provided to facilitate both Castleland and Gibbonsdown & Court C1st Partnerships in the Vale. 

30.        Contracts will be entered into for works procured to deliver the Pencoedtre Park Improvements.  

Crime and Disorder Implications

31.        One of the themes for C1st areas has been community safety, with Communities First staff working with the Safer Vale Partnership to address issues identified by the local community.

32.        A key element of the proposed Pencoedtre Park Improvements is to increase lighting to allow better CCTV surveillance. This has been included into the design as a direct response to community concerns regarding anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour will be deterred by extending lighting provision on the main access routes and around the splashpad area for the benefit of existing cameras. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

33.        The WG grants to deliver C1st complies with the Council's equal opportunities policies and benefits the community. The grants enable the employment of a co-ordinator, development worker and administrator on temporary contracts for each of the Communities First partnerships in the Vale of Glamorgan.

34.        Personnel employed support residents and groups living in the C1st wards to develop their capacity to help shape and participate in the regeneration of their community.  

35.        The Barry Regeneration Area capital grant from Welsh Government would enable improvements to Pencoedtre Park. The conversion of the paddling pool to a splash pad, adaptation of the changing room toilet to unisex/disabled and new play area would attract greater numbers of families and young people to use and enjoy the park.    

Corporate/Service Objectives

36.        The C1st grant has supported the delivery of a number of corporate plan objectives, including 'Work with partners to meet the diverse needs of residents in ways that will safeguard and protect those that are most vulnerable and in greatest need, helping people to keep fit and healthy and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all', 'Work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement, environmental regeneration and protection' and 'work with partners to make the Vale of Glamorgan a safe environment free from crime and disorder and fear of crime through prevention and positive action'.

37.        Capital improvements to Pencoedtre Park will help to delivery Corporate Objective 7 to 'improve play, leisure, sport and cultural activities'.

Policy Framework and Budget

38.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

39.        The C1st applications and action plans for the period 1st April 2012 - 30th September 2012 were developed in consultation with the Communities First Partnership Boards.

40.        Local consultation was carried out by the Gibbonsdown Residents Board to inform the proposed improvements to Pencoedtre Park. The proposals are based on inclusive design and access for all. Community consultation will also form part of the selection process to encourage ownership and community pride in the project.

41.        Local members have been consulted and are in agreement for the allocation of section 106 monies to the project.      

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

42.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

External Funding Proforma - Gibbonsdown & Court Communities First Partnership

External Funding Proforma - Castleland Communties First Partnership

External Funding Proforma - Pencoedtre Park Improvements, Barry

 

Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)

 

Officers Consulted

Bryan Jeffreys, Director of Learning and Development

Rob Thomas, Head of Planning and Transportation 

Michelle Sullivan, Communities First Acting Co-ordinator (Gibbonsdown & Court)

Colin Davies, Communities First Co-ordinator (Castleland)

Dawn Sugden, Senior Accountancy Assistant

Laura Davis, Senior Accountant

Bob Guy, Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager - Legal Services

Malcolm Drysdale- Principal Landscape Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

 

 

 

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