HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

Decision Report

Decision Maker:

The Executive Member for Rural Affairs, Human Resources and Skills Development

Date of Decision:

10 August 2009

Decision Title:

Funding for Rural Delivery Strategy projects

Decision Reference:

865

Report From:

Director of Culture, Communities and Rural Affairs

Contact name:

John Tickle

Tel:

01962 846000

Email:

john.tickle@hants.gov.uk

1. Executive Summary

1.1. The purpose of this paper is to determine the allocation of funding for projects arising from priorities identified by Hampshire County Council's Rural Delivery Strategy. The Strategy was presented to the Corporate Management Team and Cabinet in April 2009. These projects will be funded from the £200,000 identified in the Cabinet report and following the priorities agreed by Cabinet. The paper identifies six specific projects and recommends match funding to deliver them.

2. Contextual information

2.1. The focus of Hampshire County Council's Rural Delivery Strategy is on improving the quality of services delivered by Hampshire County Council and its partners in rural areas, and increasing value for money.

2.2. Cabinet was updated on the Strategy's development and progress in June 2008, and March and April 2009. Cabinet also agreed the priorities for ongoing work and these are listed in 4.1.

3. Budget position

3.1. The Executive Member for Rural Affairs, Human Resources and Skills Development has available £200,000 of funding. Of this, £144,000 has been identified for the specific improvement projects listed in this report. This is in parallel with the departmental action plans which list in the region of 150 specific actions in support of the work.

3.2. Of the remainder, up to £10,000 has been allocated to a Community Challenge Fund to enable parish councils and community and voluntary groups to bring forward small scale projects or improvements in their communities. The costs of the member of staff seconded to help drive this work forward is also drawn from this fund.

4. Funding Criteria

4.1. Projects are required to meet one or more of the following priorities agreed by Cabinet in April 2009.

4.2. All projects are required to focus on deliverable outcomes and to be implemented within a reasonable time-scale. Projects were requested to lever in additional external funding, though this has been very challenging in the current economic climate. SEEDA has traditionally been a major funder in this area but massive budget cuts are threatening existing, let alone new initiatives. Project leads were also asked to identify how their projects would continue once this one off funding has ceased in order to identify interventions that should be sustainable in the future.

5. List of Projects

5.1. Nine outline bids were submitted to the Executive Member by the deadline of June 2009. These were reviewed by the Executive Member in conjunction with officers, who short-listed six bids to go forward for detailed consideration. As a result the projects, summarised below, have now been finalised and are the subject of the detailed recommendations set out in section 8.

5.1.1. Local food distribution service

6. Risks

6.1. Inevitably there are risks associated with these projects but they have been assessed as part of the feasibility process and there is a high degree of confidence that they can be managed or overcome.

6.2. Risks that not all external match funding will be obtained, meaning projects cannot go ahead without additional HCC funding or significant reduction in the impact of specific projects. Much of the funding has been identified or is close to being secured - (assessed as low level risk).

6.3. All projects are reliant on partnership working. Should partnerships not flourish there is a risk of projects not being completed. The partnerships involved are both internal and external but build upon established and tested relationships rather than solely new and untried arrangements - (assessed as low level risk).

6.4. Reputational damage if any project fails to deliver; any pilot project or innovation must carry some risk of failure and this underpins the ability and willingness to try new approaches. These projects have been assessed against specific criteria and priorities and link strongly to the expertise and experience of colleagues across the organisation. (As such this risk is assessed as low / moderate). In the event of any underspend or failure of an individual project consideration will be given to reallocating any residual funds across the other projects and in line with the priorities agree by Cabinet.

7. Timescale

8. Recommendation

Project

Total project value

Grant proposed

Local food distribution

£120,000

£40,000

Hants Direct Mobile Plus

£90,000

£40,000

Little London broadband

£80,000

£30,000

Community Buildings Fund

£75,000

£25,000

Community Challenge Fund

£10,000

£10,000

Emotional literacy support

£12,000

£6,000

Gifted and talented children

£4,000

£3,000

CORPORATE OR LEGAL INFORMATION:

LINKS TO THE CORPORATE STRATEGY

     

Yes

No

Hampshire safer and more secure for all

       

Corporate Business plan link no (if appropriate)

       
         

Maximising well-being

   

_

 

Corporate Business plan link no (if appropriate)

       
         

Enhancing our quality of place

   

_

 

Corporate Business plan link no (if appropriate)

       
         

OTHER SIGNIFICANT LINKS:

Links to Previous member decisions:

Title

Ref

Date

Rural Delivery Strategy for Hampshire County Council

Item 5.a1 - 5.a5

July 2008

Rural Delivery Strategy for Hampshire County Council - Consultation and Development

Item 8(i) - 8(ii)

March 2009

Rural Delivery Action Plan for Hampshire County Council

Item 7

April 2009

Direct Links to Specific Legislation or Government Directives

Title

Date

   
   
   

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background documents

 

    The following documents discuss facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and have been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report. (NB: the list excludes published works and any documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.)

 

    Document

    Location

    None

 
   
   

IMPACT ASSESSMENTS:

1. Equalities Impact Assessment:

2. Impact on Crime and Disorder:

3. Climate Change: