Agenda Item No. 10(f)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 24 JUNE 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 15 JUNE 2015
C2800 Bus Services Support Grant 2015 / 2016 (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Cabinet was requested to confirm acceptance of the 2015/16 Bus Services Support Grant (BSSG) and was informed on how the BSSG would be used.
Introduced originally in 1998/99, the Bus Services Support Grant funding (BSSG) had been very important in providing financial support for bus services across the Vale of Glamorgan. The grant was ring fenced for Public Transport Services (Local Bus and Community Transport Facilities) and associated administrative costs, together with publicity, and also minor works such as bus shelter improvements.
The total value of the grant across Wales was £11,175,347 for the 2015/2016 financial year, compared to £11,361,783 in 2014/2015. In 2014/15 the Vale of Glamorgan received £371,084.
One of the conditions of the grant was that a Local Authority must spend a minimum amount of its allocation on Community Transport Services. The minimum spend for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was £24,655, although Welsh Government had set a suggested target of £81,718 for the 2015/16 financial year. The Vale of Glamorgan Council contributed to the operating costs of VEST (Voluntary Emergency Services Transport), EVCT (East Vale Community Transport) and DPVC (Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern) as well as our own community transport scheme - Greenlinks. Applications for each operator had been assessed and the potential grant award was contained at Appendix A attached to the report.
Welsh Government specified in its documentation that Local Authorities should use the BSSG to support their core strategic networks and enhance accessibility and connectivity to communities, essential services and facilities.
A summary of proposed expenditure for the BSSG for 2015/2016 was contained in Appendix B as attached to report and took into account administration, publicity costs and minor works that could be apportioned to the BSSG.
Appendix C as attached to the report showed the amount of cross boundary income that the Council could receive from neighbouring authorities, Cardiff and Bridgend. Cross boundary income was received as services funded by the Vale of Glamorgan that operated within a different authority, giving those residents access to a service that they may not otherwise have had. The neighbouring authorities could make a contribution to the authority where these services originated. This was worked out on a percentage/mileage basis and was usually received at the end of the financial year. As there was no binding agreement in place for payment of cross boundary income, it was very much an "informal agreement" between authorities. There was no guarantee that such income would be received year on year.
The award of funding letter needed to be accepted by Cabinet in order to be returned to WG by the deadline of 30 June, 2015, to avoid the funding being lost.
After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration was pleased to note that the Bus Services 320 and 321 were runners up in the recently held Welsh Transport Awards Partnership category.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the acceptance of £366,347 for the Bus Services Support Grant for 2015/2016 be agreed.
(2) T H A T the proposed use of the Bus Services Support Grant revenue funding as outlined in Appendix B as attached to the report be approved.
(3) T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council’s constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to enable the Council to approve the grant by 30 June, 2015.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure formal acceptance of the grant which would assist in providing continued local bus service and community transport provision.
(2) To permit the grant to be used as proposed.
(3) To agree the grant in a timely manner.