Agenda Item No 12

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Report: 30 July, 2018

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning

Rural Local Development Strategy Update

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide Cabinet with an update on the delivery and update of the Rural Local Development Strategy (LDS) in the Vale. 

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet notes the content of this report.
  2. That Cabinet endorses the content of the updated attached Intervention Logic Table (Appendix A).

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To provide Cabinet with an update on the delivery of the Rural Local Development Strategy.
  2. To enable the Local Action Group to deliver the Rural Local Development Strategy (LDS) in the Vale.

Background

  1. Since 2015, The Council has been delivering a programme under the Leader strand of the Rural Development Plan for Wales (RDP) programme for the 10 rural Wards of the Vale.  The RDP is a Welsh Government plan feeding into a European level programme.  The RDP covers a wide range of activities in rural areas including direct farm subsidies. The current contract for the Leader project ends in December 2020.  Delivery in the Vale of Glamorgan has been through a Local Action Group (LAG) formed of community, public, voluntary and private sector representatives as required by the RDP.  The LAG was established and is led by the Council as part of its Economic Development Unit.  It is known as Creative Rural Communities (CRC). 

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Welsh Government allows the LAG to update its strategy document on an annual basis. An intervention logic table (Appendix A) acts as the living document for the Local Action Group. This latest version (Appendix A) was submitted to Welsh Government in March 2018 and was approved. No substantial changes were made to the document, but some actions were consolidated and marked as completed or underway. Other new ideas were also included.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The Council was awarded RDP Leader funding of £1.82M and committed regeneration match funding of £250,000. Existing revenue budgets have also been used to supplement staff costs for work on non-rural projects.
  2. The Council is required to spend and perform against delivery profiles agreed by Welsh Government. Spend against profile is currently within accepted allowances. Performance to date has exceeded whole programme targets on most indicators, with 2.5 years remaining. Appendix B shows spend and progress against performance indicators as of May 31 2018.  

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. LEADER focusses on building capacity in communities to regenerate themselves.  Renewables is a theme within the Rural Development Plan for Wales. The draft LDS seeks to help communities overcome barriers to developing their own renewable energy schemes that are for the benefit of community sustainability.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council has entered into Welsh Government funding agreements covering the 2015-2020 period. Penalties, reductions and clawback could be invoked in the case of departure from normal grant conditions such as those relating to the future use of grant aided facilities, tendering arrangements and responsibilities regarding record keeping. The CRC team's Monitoring Officer ensures compliance at all stages of project delivery. In addition, strict monitoring and reporting mechanisms will be in place to ensure that beneficiaries and commissioned bodies comply with grant conditions.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None specifically, although projects aim to foster participation in community activities and promote economic prosperity which are widely accepted to help in addressing crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. Equal opportunities, including Welsh Language are at the heart of the activities proposed within the LDS and have been addressed extensively within the strategy. All projects approved to date have complied with the Welsh Language Standards.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The programme supports the Council in addressing the following Corporate Plan outcomes and objectives:

Wellbeing Outcome 1 (An inclusive and Safe Vale) Objective 1 - Reducing poverty & exclusion. Work through the Creative Rural Communities partnership to involve the local community in the delivery of services with the aim of reducing rural poverty.

Wellbeing Outcome 2: An environmentally responsible and prosperous Vale Objective 3: Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment.

Implement a comprehensive programme of regeneration across the Vale including: The Rural Local Development Strategy

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet. There are no implications on the Policy Framework at this time.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Ward members have not been further consulted on this report as it covers much of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment & Regeneration.

Background Papers

Appendix A - Logic Table LDS

Appendix B - LDS Financial & Performance Progress

Contact Officer

Phil Chappell - Team Leader Economic Development

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Regeneration

Operational Manager - Accountancy

Legal Committee Reports

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director