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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet: 9th July 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 sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives.  

Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet agree the Council continues to act as lead body for the revenue out of school childcare grant for 2012/13 awarded to the Children and Young People's Partnership which includes the administration of the childcare grants and the employment of the temporary part-time Development Worker.

2.             That Cabinet retrospectively approve the submission of the application for the revenue Local Service Board Development Grant available for the period 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2015 and the utilisation of the grant to support the Local Service Board and partnership working in the Vale of Glamorgan.

3.             That Cabinet approve the acceptance of the Capital Vale of Glamorgan Rights of Way Improvement Plan grant available for 2012/13, its utilisation to assist in implementing the plan and its inclusion in the authority's Capital programme.

4.             That Cabinet approve the Council continue to apply for and accept the revenue grant available from Welsh Government to implement the Social Care Workforce Development Programme.  

5.             That Cabinet approve the Council enter into agreements with Scottish Power in respect of the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) and Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) and the inclusion of the grant funding into the authority's Capital programme.

6.             That Cabinet approve the submission of the SPLASH Capital application to the Environment Agency for Lakeside Landscape and Access Improvements and if approved, inclusion in the authority's Capital Programme.  

         

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet approves the submission of the application and on-going responsibilities as lead body for the grant.

2.             That Cabinet approves the submission of the application and notes the utilisation of the grant to support the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board.

3.             That Cabinet agrees the Council accept the Capital Rights of Way Improvement Plan Grant and its inclusion in the authority's Capital programme.

4.             That Cabinet agrees the Council continues to apply for and accept the revenue funding available to support the Social Care Workforce Development Programme.

5.             That Cabinet approves the authority enter into agreements with Scottish Power in respect of the Carbon Energy Savings Programme and Carbon Emission Reduction Target grant.

6.             That Cabinet approves the submission of the application and if approved, its inclusion in the authority's Capital Programme.        

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 funding.

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

Out of School Childcare Grant 2012/13

4.             The out of school childcare grant for 2012-13 has been awarded to the Children & Young People's Partnership and is ring fenced for the purpose of developing out of school childcare.

5.             The revenue funding of £94,037 from Welsh Government is available to address priorities by supporting the expansion of Flying Start childcare, establish new out of school childcare in areas identified in the 2010-11 Childcare Sufficiency Assessment, continue and expand the assisted childcare places for children in need and the expansion of Welsh medium childcare.

6.             It is proposed the grant in the Vale is used to continue a number of childcare settings that received Community Focussed Schools childcare money during 2011-12 which may need some additional financial support to advance the good work that has stated to take shape (e.g. reduced costs to parents). £81,282 will be available for childcare grants in 2012/13. It is anticipated that these projects will become self sustaining after March 2013.

7.             It is proposed to continue to employ a temporary part-time Childcare Development worker for the following 12 months until March 2013 to support providers in applying for a grant to continue out of school provision or to set up new provision. Applications for grants will be on offer and will have set criteria for eligibility. Completed applications will be looked at by a panel and successful provisions will be notified. Successful schools will be in areas where gaps have been identified in the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for 2010-11.

8.             The Childcare Development Worker will also support the setting up of childcare settings/places where a gap has between identified either by geography, age, time or  type, provide advice to childcare settings to assist them become sustainable, facilitate collaboration between key agencies and identify any training needs along with other related tasks.

Local Service Board Development Fund 1/4/12 - 31/3/15 

9.             The Welsh Government has allocated a revenue grant of up to 50k to each Local Service Board per financial year to build its strategic capability to support integrated planning and delivery. The current grant covers the period 1/4/12 to 31/3/15.

10.        It is proposed the grant be used to continue to employ the Local Service Board Support Officer and to commission information and engagement support.

11.        The role of the Local Support Officer includes:

·               To provide full time, focussed and creative support for the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board and key partnerships.

·               To ensure the adoption of an outcome based approach across the LSB and provide Results Based Accountability training to partnership staff where needed.

·               To further develop partnership performance arrangements for the LSB and key partnerships. To produce an annual report on the single integrated plan.

·               To work with Democratic Services on the development of scrutiny arrangements to improve the accountability of partnership working in the Vale.

·               To ensure that appropriate and timely data is available to support the work of the LSB and the three area groups.

·               To put in place appropriate mechanisms for improving consultations and engagement cross the LSB.

12.        In addition to the salary costs for the LSB officer £15,000 has been allocated per financial year towards research, analytical capacity and engagement. For 2012/13 this has been split between £12,000 for research and analysis and £3,000 for engagement.

13.        It is proposed the grant is used to commission external support to systematically develop the intelligence base available to the LSB. The initial focus of work in year 1 is to carry out an audit of current data sources and advise where there is insufficient information or data for analysis and expand the range of sources on which needs assessments are based. The results to be collated and be used to make recommendations to the LSB regarding how the range of data sources analysed and information available to produce the Vale of Glamorgan Unified Needs Assessment and inform area working can be improved.

Vale of Glamorgan Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan Grant 2012/13

14.        Each year the Welsh Government, through Countryside Council for Wales, provide access to a capital grant scheme in order to assist in implementing the actions and improvements detailed in the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.  A number of projects are based on these actions, are led by the Local Authority and delivered via local partnerships.

15.        The Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) grants are essentially hypothecated grants that do not require match funding. The Council is given indicative funding, but we are required to identify via a quasi-bidding process the expected spend programme.

16.        It is proposed the capital grant of £33,169 for 2012/13 be used towards:

·               An analysis of condition survey data and continuation of work towards republication of Definitive map.

·               Provision of match funding to the Rural Development Fund grant for the improvement and creation of links between communities within the Coastal Zone to the All Wales Coastal Path (excluding Coastal Path itself).

·               An improvement scheme to benefit disadvantaged communities and one that will also assist public understanding of conservation of local biodiversity.

·               The installation of roadside posts (contingency project).

17.        Grant funding is offered in order to implement the Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The grant requires no match funding and will provide significant improvements to the rights of way network, part of which is a statutory duty.

Social Care Workforce Development Programme 2012/13

18.        The broad aim of the Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) is to improve the quality and management of social services provision through a planned approach to increase the take-up of training across the social care sector.

19.        Since 2003 the Welsh Government has provided an annual grant to local authorities to deliver on its guidance 'Planning for Training and Development across the Social Care Sector'. The revenue grant for 2012/13 is £323,387 requiring match funding from the Council of £138,594.

20.        Each local authority has been tasked by the WG to develop and deliver training opportunities in line with the annual SCWDP Grant Circular. It enables the Vale of Glamorgan to work in partnership with internal and external social care providers to train and develop staff.

21.        When developing training strategies, partnerships are expected to draw membership from commissioners, commissioned services, statutory, third sector and private sector employers, service users, carers and training providers. Other local statutory partners including health should also be involved and there is a need to consider the workforce implications that flow from the development of a more integrated approach to services. Partnerships should include members from regulated and non-regulated settings covering social work and social care for children and family services and children services and must as a minimum draw members that reflect the views of:

·               Adult Care Providers

·               Domiciliary Care Providers

·               Children's Care Providers

·               Foster Carers

·               Further and Higher Education

·               Service Users and Carers'.

22.        The grant will support the provision of up to 250 hours training and development opportunities for approximately 1500 staff over the coming year. It ensures that regulated services are able to be appropriately trained and qualified to meet registration requirements.     

Area Based Energy Improvements to 'Hard to Treat' Council Housing

23.        Following the submission of bids for Arbed funding from Welsh Government last November, there remained an opportunity to take advantage of the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) and other funding to support the Council achieve its aim of meeting the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) and to target the reduction in fuel poverty for council tenants.

24.        The projects proposed have been split into three elements which are a result of a funding offer from Scottish Power on 4th April 2012. These are the Community Energy Saving Programme, Fuel Switch Project and Carbon Emission Reduction Programme.  

25.        Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP): The Council owns a number of non traditional housing stock which are classified as 'hard to treat' as they are extremely expensive to improve to a good energy and repair standard. The non traditional dwellings are in Barry in two lower super output areas (LSOA) including Buttrills 2 and Cadoc 1. The 'non traditional' energy inefficient construction of dwellings make them eligible for CESP funding.

26.        The CESP project would draw in significant funding to enable the Council to install energy reduction measures to its housing stock as part of the £82 million WHQS Housing Improvement Programme. The main measure will be to provide external wall insulation (EWI) to the properties which will provide an effective weather proof wall fabric with much improved insulation. Where secondary measures such as loft insulation or energy efficient boilers require remedy then additional CESP funding may be provided.

27.        It estimated that the project will save 14,000 tonnes of carbon to 135 dwellings and at the proposed rate of £43.50 a tonne may result in approximately £609,000 of funding to the Council from Scottish Power.

28.        Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT): This funding is available to install external wall insulation on other council housing. It is recognised this element of the project will be difficult to deliver within the timeframe available due to the challenges of lower funding levels, the housing being located in numerous locations, the scale of work involved, the high level of competition for available resources and the need to identify tenant benefit data. It is estimated 313 dwellings are potentially eligible which equates to total funding of £225,000.      

29.        Fuel Switch Project: The Council also owns a number of dwellings which are not connected to mains gas and these properties are some of our most energy inefficient 'hard to treat' housing placing the tenants at high risk of fuel poverty.

30.        The Council has identified 25 dwellings which are currently not connected to gas but are a connectable distance from the gas main. The proposal is to connect these properties to the gas main and install new central hearing systems with 'A' rated condensing boilers.

31.        Fuel poor vouchers from Wales and West Utilities will pay most of the cost of gas connection and CERT funding from Scottish Power will significantly contribute to the cost of the new central heating systems. Estimated total funding of £37,000. The total potential capital funding for the three elements of the project is £871,000.  

Lakeside Landscape & Access Improvement Grant 

32.        An application for a £49,000 capital grant was submitted to the Environment Agency to undertake lakeside landscape and access improvements at Cosmeston Country Park. Over the past 18 months the country park has benefited from external/internal funding to improve car park facilities, upgrade footpaths, improve the play area and refit the visitor centre etc. The £49,000 Splash Grant is pivotal to enabling improved access to the main focal point of the Country Park and better usage of the facility for users. The improvements would have a positive effect on increasing business opportunities for the visitor centre and café.

33.        The funding would enable further landscaping, improved access and interpretation facilities to the jetty & lakeside area of Cosmeston Lakes. The project is aimed at improving access for all users i.e. walkers, lake users and cyclists. The project would provide: a new all weather pedestrian surface, new seating, a boat storage bay, a new access gate and pedestrian walkway and a non slip surface for the boat launch area.                                       

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

34.        The revenue out of school childcare grant would enable a number of childcare settings to become self sustainable after March 2013. The Childcare Development worker is on a temporary contract until March 2013 with costs associated with the administration of the grant scheme contained within the project costs.   

35.        The Local Service Board Development Fund would support the Vale of Glamorgan LSB and key partnerships in further developing collaboration and effective integrated planning and delivery in the Vale of Glamorgan.

36.        The Capital Rights of Way Improvement Plan grant would enable the delivery of a number of physical improvements which would improve access to the countryside.

37.        The Social Care Workforce Development Programme would support the whole social care sector access training. Although a majority of the training will be provided to Council employees, a minimum of 25% of the courses in the training programme are made available to the independent sector.   

38.        The Social Care Workforce Development Programme grant currently funds three permanent and three agency posts. A number of the posts have been vacant for some time due to restructuring across the social services directorate. It is proposed posts are now filled on temporary contracts until March 2015. WG have announced the grant will continue in its current format until the end of the 2014-15 financial year.  The team appointed would provide support for the workforce across social care services

39.        The Community Energy Savings Programme, Carbon Emission Reduction Target and Fuel Switch Project would support the Council deliver the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. The three grant schemes could enable the authority to access £871,000 towards implementing the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. The grant schemes are not dependent on match funding.    

40.        The Capital Splash grant would enable a number of lakeside landscape and access improvements at Cosmeston Country Park which would help the sustainability of the park.   

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

41.        The out of schools childcare grant is required to enable the Children & Young People's Partnership to carry out its statutory duties under the Childcare Act 2006 which places a duty on Local Authorities to look at the demands for childcare in their area and secure sufficient childcare to meet these demands.

42.        On grant funding being approved or secured, the Council will enter into the appropriate terms and conditions with the relevant funding body.

43.        The Council will have due regard to any partnership arrangements, working protocol or constitution where the Council is a lead authority for any grant directed through a partnership.     

Crime and Disorder Implications

44.        All the grant schemes would have a positive impact on the community; a number of the projects would enable physical improvements.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

45.        The Out of Schools Childcare grant would support the establishment and sustainability of childcare settings and therefore support parents return to the labour market.

46.        The Rights of Way Improvement Plan Grant and SPLASH grant would support all members of the community access the countryside and the Cosmeston Country Park.    

Corporate/Service Objectives

47.        The Out of School Childcare Grant will support the delivery of Improvement Objective 4 'to ensure every child has a flying start in life' through 'providing young children and their families with access to suitable childcare information, places and activities, which meet their particular needs'.

48.        The Local Service Board Development Fund will support partnership working and greater cooperation with other organisations that deliver services in the Vale, thereby improving the quality of life of its citizens (Improvement Objective 3).

49.        The Vale of Glamorgan Rights of Way Improvement Plan grant will support the delivery of Improvement Objective 29, in specific Action R15 through 'implementing the Rights of Way Improvement Plan to improve rights of way and access to the Countryside and Coast'.   

50.        The Social Care Workforce Development Programme will support the delivery of Improvement Objective 17 through the provision of training to safeguard and protect children, young people and vulnerable adults.  

51.        The area based energy improvements will support the delivery of Improvement Objective 30, in specific Action R18 through the provision of financial assistance to 'progress the Council Housing Improvement Programme to bring the housing stock to a modern internal standard and good structural condition'.   

52.        The Lakeside Landscape & Access Improvement Grant will help protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment (Improvement Objective 27).     

Policy Framework and Budget

53.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

54.        The Children & Young People's Partnership and the Early Years Development & Childcare Partnership were consulted on the use of the Out of Schools Childcare Grant. A grants panel comprising of Council officers and representatives from the voluntary sector will determine how the grants funding available is utilised.

55.        The Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board and Implementation Group have been consulted on and agreed how the development funding available should be used to develop strategic capability and support integrated planning and delivery. 

56.        The Local Access Forum, an advisory body set up by the local authority to advise as to the improvement of public access to land in their area for purposes of open-air recreation were consulted and fully support the programme of work outlined in the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

57.        Members of the Social Care Workforce Development Sub-Group were consulted on the training plan which will be implemented following the receipt of the Social Care Workforce Development grant. The sub-group is attended by representatives from the care sector, the Council, the third sector and Cardiff and Vale College.

58.        In respect of the area based energy improvements proposed to 'hard to treat' council housing, extensive consultation and tenant engagement is underway on the Council's proposals to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Specific consultation has already been undertaken with the Tenants Forum and the Quality and Design Panel.     

59.        An internal consultation highlighted the need to improve access to Cosmeston Country Park. All Lake User groups were consulted with regards to proposed access improvements and supported the work planned.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

60.        All committees

Background Papers

External Funding Proforma - Out of School Childcare Grant 2012/13

External Funding Proforma - Local Service Board Development Fund 1/4/12 - 31/3/15

External Funding Proforma - Vale of Glamorgan Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2012/13

External Funding Proforma - Social Care Workforce Development Programme 2012/13

External Funding Proforma - Fuel Poverty Project (Area Based Energy Improvements to 'Hard to Treat' Council Housing

External Funding Proforma - Lakeside Landscape & Access Improvement

 

Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)

 

Officers Consulted

Debbie Maule - Children's Partnership Co-ordinator

Steve Latham - Country Parks and Commons Manager

Sian Crinion-Jones - Staff Development Manager

Rob Lucas - Asset and Improvement Manager

Laura Davis - Senior Accountant

Carolyn Michael - Senior Group Accountant

Mike Bumford - Senior Accountancy Assistant  

Head of Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance & Development

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