Monday, 25 January 2016

Confusion regarding LEADER in West Cork

Statement from West Cork Development Partnership

West&South
In recent weeks people have been reporting confusion to West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) around communications issued from the new entity entitled “West Cork LEADER LAG”. This includes a recent call for nominations to its representative structure. Having successfully delivered four LEADER programme in West Cork since 1992, the WCDP was renamed in 2007 having previously been called West Cork LEADER. Many people still refer to the organisation by this name and as such there is considerable potential for confusion with the name of the new entity. The WCDP is proud of the success in the LEADER programme for nearly 25 years and is happy to engage in a competitive process for the for the LEADER programme 2016-2020; its future strategy having been fully informed by an extensive public consultation process in the autumn of 2015 as well as by its unrivalled record in innovative programme planning, high quality governance, exemplary financial management and compliance with programme regulations.
The WCDP wishes to clarify that it is in not in any way involved with West Cork LEADER LAG. This is a new grouping headed by Cork County Council and its committee the West Cork LCDC brought together for the purposes of submitting a proposal to deliver the LEADER programme in West Cork. In this context the new grouping will be competing with WCDP for the contract to deliver the LEADER programme in West Cork from 2016-2020. If successful in a competitive process then delivery of the LEADER programme in West Cork will be split between 3 implementing partners – South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD), based in Midleton; Avondu Blackwater Partnership, based in Fermoy; and Comhar na nOileain, based on Inis Oirr, Aran Islands, Co. Galway. The specifics of the delivery arrangements and the budgets available in such a situation are not known to the WCDP. These organisations, Cork County Council and the West Cork Local Community Development Committee have engaged Future Analytics, Dublin as well as other consultants to conduct needs analyses and assist in strategy development for the new programme.
Arising from a decision by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to align LEADER delivery arrangements to Local Authority municipal districts as well as an edict that prevents the WCDP from holding a LEADER contract in more than one sub-region, the WCDP regrets to announce that it can no longer have a role in the management and delivery of the LEADER programme in the Lee Valley and Gaeltacht regions of mid-Cork. While it does not accept the logic of the Department’s position nor believe that it has any evidential basis, it appears to have little choice in this matter. A recent public announcement by IRD Duhallow suggested it will deliver a total LEADER project budget of €142,500 in the period 2016-2020 to a population of 24,000 people in the LEE Valley area. This comprises 5% of the available project funds in the South Cork municipal district. The WCDP is not aware of the arrangements proposed for the management and allocation of the remaining 95% of the project budget.
For further information or clarification on these issues please contact Ian Dempsey, CEO at 023/8834035 or ian@wcdp.ie

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