RURAL DELIVERY ACTION PLAN APRIL 2009: "MAKING IT HAPPEN"

Proposed actions

Immediate

July 2009 onwards: actions

July 2009 onwards: planning

1. RURAL TRANSPORT AND ACCESSIBILITY (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 2 for full action plan.)

Complete background work into `brokerage' rural transport pilot for Test Valley by May 09. Outcome: Will enable residents to access local retail and local health services at least weekly, and travel to Winchester and Andover hospitals. NI175 - to enable access to a hospital by walking or public transport within 60 minutes journey time for an additional 7000 people by 2010/11 from a 2006/07 baseline of 1,188,302.

Complete review of community transport and demand responsive services. Publish final report Autumn 09. Outcome: Will ensure that the services are providing best value and responding to need. Use options developed to extend the reach and role of community transport.

Complete the competitive tendering of Dial-a Ride services in Autumn 2009. Use this to benchmark and share best practice to improve capacity and efficiency to better meet user needs.

Continue car free tourism pilot in New Forest. Outcome: Providing free bus or subsided taxi travel from railway stations to Lyndhurst.

Publish findings of pilot testing improved ways of providing local transport information by June 09. Pilot operating in Denmead & Wickham, Shedfield and Swanmore.

Complete pilot to identify ways of increasing efficiency of public and community transport providers in East Hampshire.

Complete Bus Subsidy Criteria work Summer 2009. Use process to better match network and delivery method to demand through area passenger transport reviews and tendering of local bus services.

Obtain funding to maintain Andover - Winchester hospital shuttle bus beyond June 09. To maintain the improvement in accessibility levels brought about by this service. NI175.

Complete `Village 30' programme by Spring 09, bringing improved safety levels to villages across the County. Outcome: Reduction in average speed in villages where a new 30mph limit is introduced (2008-09 = 10%, 2009-10 = 10%, 2010-11 = 10%) and Reduction in average speed in villages which already have a 30mph restriction (2008-09 = 1%, 2009-10 = 3%, 2010-11 = 5%).

Implement `brokerage' rural transport pilot in stages to Dec 09. Outcome: Will enable residents to access local retail and local health services at least weekly, and travel to Winchester and Andover hospitals. NI175 (see opposite).

Extend `wheels to work' (moped loan so young people can travel to work or training) to East Hampshire and Winchester districts by Oct 09. Outcome: This will improve life opportunities for the young in rural areas.

Seek to overcome duplication and overlap in public and community transport providers in East Hampshire. Work with partners in health and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to re-plan transport, identify efficiency savings. Publish final report Oct 09.

Implement new ways of supporting and developing voluntary car schemes in New Forest. To overcome barriers to volunteering. By Dec 09.

Identify new approaches to enable rural communities to better meet their transport challenges in their communities. Pilot a self-help toolkit with 1 or 2 villages. Explore links with community-led planning. Outcome: improved knowledge of available transport provision. Complete by March 2010.

Establish a database holding locations and contacts in rural communities to which relevant transport services information is provided on a regular basis. Operative by end 2009. This will improve targeting of transport services information.

Work with Adult and Children's Services to improve sharing of information about inequality, access. Ongoing from Spring 2009. This will improve liaison between departments leading to better use of resources and expertise to improve service delivery and better respond to need.

Launch pilot with secondary schools to better enable children to resolve their own transport issues. Work also with Hampshire Youth Parliament. Complete by Dec 09. This will improve the County Council's understanding of the transport and accessibility issues of the young in rural areas.

Continued promotion and enforcement of Village 30 programme.

Explore the possibility of improved liaison with parish council through a form of Parish Lengthsman.

Improving the tools and techniques used to Identify accessibility problems and the transport and service delivery options to address these. This will help to improve future targeting of resources and best meet access needs.

Use the findings of the HCC Personalisation Commission and work with the cross departmental personalisation group to inform the future delivery of transport and other services and improve access to services.

Research and consideration of the future (50 year horizon) policy action that the County Council may need to take with regards to transport and accessibility in rural areas in response to potential future scenarios (e.g. Climate change, alternative vehicle fuel technologies, etc...). Building on the work to innovate and integrate transport and service delivery, this will improve the ability of the Council to adapt and introduce policies to better equip rural communities to deal with future challenges.

Preparation of Development Control Transport Policies for inclusion in District Council Local Development Frameworks. A focus here will be to promote an improvement in accessibility levels through the local planning process and in particular to major new public service facilities (such as hospitals). NI175.

2. RURAL ECONOMY, EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLS (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 3 for full action plan.)

Consider issues for rural businesses in Hampshire Employment and Skills Strategy. Include migrant labour, access to skills and training, and the poor perception of land based careers.

Increased promotion of business support and advice in rural areas, including HCC's services to help businesses through the recession, from April 09.

Via HEP and HIPOG, engage with district planners to look at rural business needs, to encourage more flexible planning policies for rural businesses. From April 09.

Scope the value of equestrian and horticulture sectors to the rural economy. By July 09.

Increase support available to rural towns and villages through expansions of Village Community Grant Scheme and Market Town Project. An additional 10 market towns and 5 more village shops to be helped through additional grant funding by March 2010. Funding required from HCC £100K.

Develop a pilot study to explore the use of current labour market through redundancies for agriculture/horticulture work-force shortages by October 2009.

e-hampshire to identify opportunities for rural areas without broadband to link into HPSN 2 cables to schools.

Undertake trial to broadband-enable rural communities currently without broadband access, using HPSN 2. Pilot site identified Little London, Andover. Estimated £25K required to fund equipment. Start target date October 2009, completion March 2010.

Through Matisse initiative identify additional locations for Smarter Working Centres.

6 Rural Smarter working centres to be set up by March 2010. Funding required from HCC: £10K each set up costs = £60K total plus partner contributions.

Investigate how HCC and partners can offer support to equestrian and horticulture sectors. Identify sector champions and identify areas of joint working or ways HCC can further support the sectors.

3. ENVIRONMENT (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 4 for full action plan.)

Support habitat management and restoration in Biodiversity Opportunity Areas, to enable adaptation to climate change. (Continuing activity).

Influence partnership bids on funding such as Leader, Interreg funding and other external funding contributions and support delivery of actions. (e.g. North Wessex Downs Leader 2008-2013)

Develop the evidence base for understanding the landscape impacts of climate change, adaptation to it, and its mitigation. (Underway, end date tba).

Review the priorities for Environmental Service Provider grant funding to the voluntary sector for 10-11. (By October 2009)

Build a stronger partnership with land managers to support delivery of environmental benefits, initially through the interim Rural Forum. (April 2009 onwards)

Work with partners on the urban fringe in south Hampshire to roll out green infrastructure, including large scale habitat restoration. (From May 2009 onwards)

Assess the Environmental impacts of increased use of inappropriate rural roads by traffic including HGVs and the potential for mitigation.

Work with partners to determine how to extend green infrastructure planning beyond south Hampshire.

Develop opportunities to support small rural businesses to secure environmental benefits.

Identify opportunities with external partners to secure additional funding, e.g Interreg, Leader, and other external funding contributions.

Develop an understanding of the environmental implications of new renewable energy opportunities for Hampshire.

Identify opportunities to deliver greater environmental benefits from management of HCC estate. Includes access.

4. FOOD, FARMING AND FORESTRY (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 5 for full action plan.)

Prepare an Agricultural and Food Strategy for Hampshire by July 09.

Complete feasibility study for a local food distribution service by April 09.

Hold annual Hampshire Farming Conference June 09.

Raise profile of agriculture and horticulture using Hampshire Now by July 09.

Improve take up of agri-environment schemes and educational visits on County Farms, and other farms, e.g. Laverstoke Park Farm, by July 09.

Develop links with private landowners to enable county farm tenants to progress beyond County Farms.

Review options for biofuels on County Farms. Link with wood-fuel. By July 09.

Enhance Hantsweb rural pages with links to all rural services agencies and providers by May 09.

Introduce mobile demonstration unit to promote local food in disadvantaged areas April 2010-Mar 2012. Subject to Big Lottery bid.

Update Hampshire Farming Study 2009 on current state of farming in Hampshire.

Address workforce crisis in agriculture and horticulture in Hampshire Employment and Skills Strategy. Undertake study into impact on farming and rural communities of changing patterns of migrant workers

Identify how to provide more support to small scale farmers, and fragile livestock and dairy sectors.

Set up a single `rural support' web portal by Mar 2010.

Further develop the Woodland Forum and identify barriers and solutions for developing a wood-fuel market in Hampshire.

Identify further measures to increase access to local food.

Identify opportunities for Hampshire Fare once existing SEEDA funding expires end March 2010. To increase spend on local food by public sector, supermarkets and major buyers i.e. cruise industry; expanding local access to slaughter facilities.

Develop business plan and submit £160k funding bid to SEEDA (through RDPE) for a local food distribution service. Bid for £45k HCC match funding. By July 09. Project to start Jan 2010.

Plan next update of Hampshire Farming Study in 2011.

5. COMMUNITY, LEISURE AND CULTURE (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 6 for full action plan.)

£18k grant to Community Action Hampshire to fund Village Halls Adviser post to March 2010.

£41k grant fund for Countryside Service Small Grants Scheme for 09/10, up from £20k 08/09. Funding provisionally agreed to 2012

_ Parishes at least match fund

_ Achieve 50% increase in volunteer hours

_ 8-10 more parishes supported

£17-20K `Animating Hog' rural arts funding to extend `Hog the Limelight' to Sept 09. Interim report Jan 09

_ Pilot new summer/outdoor activities offered to 6 experienced Hog promoters

_ Find 3 new communities without traditional halls to stage events

_ New marketing scheme to raise awareness

Continue £80k per annum funding for Community Buildings capital projects for next 3 years

_ Generate match funding of at least 50%(25-33%)

_ Support around 40 projects per annum

Develop concept of a rural toolkit to create a sector wide offer to rural communities. Explore potential partnership approach with East Hants DC at 24 April meeting.

With CAH review role, function and local needs from Village Halls Adviser post Dec 09 to inform delivery of service and resourcing in 2010 and beyond.

Final report July 2009 to inform development of Hog programme beyond 2010

Seek funding to improve access to services for disadvantaged young people through the R&H Youth Offer Group.

Working with other HCC Depts and external partners, explore potential for expanding services provided by mobile libraries.

Identify options for increasing volunteering and access to learning in rural areas.

Development plan for Hog programme in 2010 and beyond.

Identify possible sources of funding to enhance annual allocation of 80K to offset £20k shortfall in Community Buildings Fund for capital projects. (Total applications funded in 07/08 £203k and 08/09 £188k.)

HCC to adopt a new approach for engaging with community led planning, including Market Town Healthchecks and parish plans.

6. CHILDREN'S SERVICES (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 7 for full action plan.)

Implement new strategy for supporting young carers in rural areas, and measuring numbers of young carers.

Mobile Children's Centres for rural areas will be in use from April 09. [Early Interventions target.]

Collect evidence that development of Phase 3 Children's Centres has included needs of rural communities.

Ensure that children in small rural schools attract sufficient resource to enjoy excellent educational opportunities

Services for Gypsies and Travellers. Many live in rural areas. Increase number of parents participating in the Positive Parenting Programme. Improve school attendance by 2010/11. Increase proportion educated at school. Provide learning materials for those educated at home. Employ classroom assistant to ensure Gypsy/Traveller children are settled at school. Expand programme beyond Hart.

All rural schools to have designated teacher to support young carers from 2010/11.

Include young carer issues in PSHE lessons in rural schools from 2009/10.

Information packs for young carers available in a variety of formats from 2010/11.

All children under 5 able to access a Children's Centre by March 2010.

100% of rural schools providing access to all extended services by Sept 2010.

Establish a Funding and Transport Group to resolve transport for secondary school children in rural areas studying 14-19 Diplomas. By Sept 09.

Complete needs analysis of level of youth provision in rural areas against need by Dec 2009.

Continue the subsidy to small schools under the school funding formula.

Services for Gypsies and Travellers: Reduce the gap between the proportion of BME/Traveller children achieving at least 78 points in Early Years Foundation Stage and their peers by 5% in 2010/11. From 2009/10 use national `E-Learning and Mobility Project' to provide laptops for young Gypsy/Traveller people.

`Aiming High' disabled children strategy information hub available by Dec 2010.

Develop targets via Children's Trust arrangements for School Improvement Partners to work with schools in rural areas to focus on children with the greatest need.

Confirm timeframe for delivering fully integrated services for young people in rural areas. Complete integration of the services provided by Connexions and the former youth service.

Establish measures to track ability of 14-19 consortia to meet students' travel needs. This is key for rural areas.

Confirm targets to 2010/11 for reducing proportion of 16-18 yr old NEETs.

Develop targets for measuring action to address gaps in youth provision in rural areas against need.

Confirm targets for 2010/1 for increased % of children and families reached by rural Children's Centres.

Continue the subsidy to small schools under the school funding formula.

Confirm target for 2009/10 for Increasing the proportion of BME/Traveller children achieving Level 4 in English and Maths at KS2.

Additional numbers of rural young people accessing extended services by March 2011. Rural support will be included in total of 2,400 children county-wide.

Additional children and young people accessing universal short break provision by March 2011. A total of 1,300 people in rural and urban areas county-wide.

Implement revised eligibility criteria for short breaks by Dec 2010 to better meet needs of children with disabilities in rural areas.

7. ADULT SOCIAL CARE (Summary of key themes. Please see Appendix 8 for full action plan.)

Outcome: by 2011 all service users will receive a person-centred or `personalised' service (called `self directed support'), where they have choice, control and power over the support they receive.

Action: Phase 1 'self-directed support' is underway in Basingstoke and lessons are being learnt and systems put in place for countywide roll-out.

Action: `Self directed support' (SDS) will be rolled out county wide from April 2010 (Phase 2) and completed by March 2011. The SDS budget of £4.2m includes rural support

 
 

Outcome: Everyone will be able to access information, advice and supported self-assessment, regardless of level of need or financial situation.

Action: Launch the self-funders self-service website Oct 09, which will enhance access to services in rural areas, where there is less direct access to information. Rural support to be included in the budget figure of £348k.

Workstream activities on access to information, advice and advocacy to continue e.g. through developing a customer access strategy. Access points to include community access points, many of which are based in parishes.

Take forward plans to pilot new approach to face-to-face access in Basingstoke and Deane borough, including its extensive rural areas, using libraries and mobile libraries.

Outcome: early intervention services will be available countywide by April 2010 to help people stay independent in their own homes and linked into their local community for as long as possible.

Access to early intervention services is patchy, particularly in rural areas.

   

Action: Continue roll out of Community Innovations Project county-wide. £960k growth funding across county.

Community Innovations Teams to be rolled out county wide by Apr 2010.

 

Outcome: Older People's wellbeing is enhanced through community development projects and schemes that offer `a little bit of help', eg to manage the garden.

Action: Support the Older People's Wellbeing Strategy, through funding for Gardening Service [through Supporting People] (£180k), which is particularly important in rural areas; Neighbourcare (£100k); OPAL project (£20k); Out of Town Project (£10k); Sing for Your Life (£10k). All ongoing.

 

Support the development of HCC's Third Sector strategy, ensuring that it recognises the importance of the voluntary sector in shaping Hampshire communities, particularly at the very local level.

Outcome: Vulnerable and disabled people will have significantly greater opportunities to access universal county council services, which are often poorest in rural areas.

Action: Establish a cross departmental Personalisation Group and work programme for the Group. Underway.

Establish joint programme with Recreation and Heritage Dept to widen access to universal services.

 

Outcome: more vulnerable people will be supported to help alleviate increased financial difficulties being faced because of the `credit crunch'.

Action: put additional investment into supported employment projects. Rural support will be included in figure of £302k. This is particularly significant for disabled and older people living in rural areas. Complete by Mar 2010.

Outcome: Older people on low incomes will have better information on a range of ways to secure `a little bit of help' to enable them to stay in their own home for longer.

Action: Work with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, private sector and local partners to scope a pilot to facilitate information and advice for low-income older households, with the option of equity release where appropriate.