Report of the Head of Economy, Enterprise and Skills (EES/21/2), seeking approval to act as Lead Authority for any funding awarded through the scheme and to put in place relevant cash flow and staffing and capacity to deliver any successful award, attached.
(a) that Devon County Council act as Lead Authority for the Community Renewal Fund, for up to £12.25m of projects on behalf of the national programme;
(b) that in recognising the Community Renewal Fund payment profile, the Council provide short term cashflow for the Community Renewal Fund should its bid be successful; and
(c) that the management fee secured to resource the delivery of the Lead Authority role be used, to include contract management, financial and legal capacity within the Council.
(Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Hannaford, Hodgson and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Economy, Enterprise and Skills (EES/21/2), which sought approval to act as Lead Authority for any funding awarded through the scheme and to put in place relevant cash flow and staffing and capacity to deliver any successful award. The Report had been circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Report set out the details of the Community Renewal Fund programme within the UK, and the Council’s role in developing and submitting a bid to the fund on behalf of Devon partners.
The bid submitted consisted of 16 individual projects seeking £12.25m of revenue funding. It supported the priorities set out in the Team Devon Economic Recovery Prospectus and the Council’s wider objectives of supporting better outcomes for vulnerable individuals and communities. The bid complemented the capital programme of projects submitted under the Levelling Up Fund.
The Community Renewal Fund was considered a pilot programme by Government (£220m national revenue programme) to test how to design and manage future national funding by taking a local approach to local challenges. It would also help inform the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which replaced EU Structural Funds and was proposed to be introduced in the next financial year. The Fund was focused around four core investment themes, skills and training development, employment support, business support and funding for communities and places.
The Cabinet noted that the submission had been developed in an inclusive and transparent way, inviting proposals from a range of organisations across the County, and in consultation with Team Devon partners in District Councils.
Initially 39 bids worth over £26m had been received by the Council. Detailed appraisals of these had been undertaken and at the end of this process 22 of the original 39 met the broad criteria for submission to Government. A full assessment process then took place, the outcome of which was a submission of 16 projects worth £12.25m by the 18 June deadline.
A detailed outline of the project’s portfolio submitted was detailed in Annex 1 of the Report.
If the Devon bid was successful, all or in part, the Council would be asked to act as Lead Authority, and approval was therefore sought for the Council to:
· act as the contracting authority for up to £12.25m across the16 projects;
· provide in-year available cash flow to facilitate project delivery; and
· utilise the management fee awarded to cover contract management, finance and the legal resources needed.
Details on each of those ‘asks’ were set out in full in the Report.
The Report also highlighted the alternative options, however, it was recommended to proceed with the current CRF approach and relevant action to limit risk should be fully integrated into the Authority’s management and accountable body approach.
The full details of the CRF ... view the full minutes text for item 20