LCDC Meeting – Thursday 14th November
Report by Waterford PPN LCDC Reps
Skills Sub Committee received presentation on draft City and County Plan for 2020-2025 from Hugh O Brien.
Waterford Economic Community Plan to be developed in new year and important for PPN to encourage communities to contribute in the public consultation phase. If their plans are not included under some heading it will be difficult for them to access public funds.
It was agreed that the LCDC would seek to access EU funding
Senan raised the issue of follow on work placements for completed Tus contracts. His original suggestion was for LCDC to establish a pilot project that would include 10 private sector piloting with Dept of E & SP a follow on 12 months for full weeks work for 12 months on living wage. This was not taken up but Dept explained the under 25 scheme that allowed contracts to work for 25 hours per week for the living wage. Dept rep explained it and referred to other labour activation schemes. He said it was unlikely the Dept would raise the ceiling to retirement age and accommodate those now most vulnerable in face of increasingly high skilled, technology based employment. On being asked was the explanation satisfactory Senan said he accepted it as the current position but that position remained unsatisfactory. None of the agencies present showed much interest in the issue. It is a stand out issue for so many individuals and families in East Waterford and possibly whole of Waterford. Need up to date unemployment statistics- Tus and CES and RSS places, education and skills programmes that deal with these people who want to move on in their career and faced with basic difficulties.
Document on collaborative place based leadership development was circulated to members prior to the meeting
Statistics read out by Don Tuohy on economic conditions showed Waterford above- doing worse than national average on a number of measures. Should provide an opportunity to LCDC to seek a few pilot projects to research new solutions.
Heather Kiely gave a detailed up date on Healthy Waterford activities. They were holding a conference in Manor Greenway Hotel shortly. The committee was hiring two workers for city (a replacement) and county (an addition). This additional resource will inject energy and means of execution of action plans in coming months. The committee are also seeking financial support for additional admin services.
Senan explained that the social enterprise awareness implementation programme would include listing of “whole of government supports” and making them available with explanations to social enterprises and support agencies in 2020.
Senan asked for Council/LCDC to develop a co-ordinated list of information on supports and developments to help volunteer officials and directors plan completion of funding and advice applications. All are coming one after the other from a range of sources nearly every week. They are all nearly meaningless and don’t allow voluntary groups a chance to understand and consider them before selecting best option to suit their needs.
Don Tuohy said he was aware of the chaos but they were often informed late in the day on many programmes and could only respond late in the day. There was often too little time to give ample notice to interested parties. Kilkenny had developed a 12 month booklet of supports known in advance. The Council/LCDC will consider an improvement in this area. There are many funding and advisory programmes known at start of year including Leader, Council, FLAG, Urban and Rural Regeneration, EI Regional Enterprise Fund, Town and Village Renewal, Sports Capital grants, SICAP, Pobal, Dormant Accounts, Failte Ireland, Bord Bia, Social Enterprise small grants scheme and many others.
Waterford Leader were in the top ten of best performing organisation and were awarded a share out of a €5m surplus fund which amounted to €500,000 each. LCDC agreed to accept the money. Many LAGs have not spent their expected share of budgets and it may go against them in future.
Council had received confirmation of the €39m for North Quays Project and a €5.4m grant for Mount Congreve which involved €1.7m of matching funds
Under Town and Village Renewal Scheme 5 Waterford villages each received €100,000. These are Fenor, Dunhill, Bunmahon, Lemybrien and Cappoquin.
Next LCDC meeting is Thursday 12th December in Waterford City Municipal Building AT 11 a.m.