By Kieran O’Mahony
THE West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) has distanced itself from another group with a similar name.
WCDP issued a statement saying it has no links with the West Cork Leader Local Action Group (LAG), as controversy surrounds the forthcoming funds under the LEADER programme in West Cork.
Ian Dempsey, CEO of the WCDP said that in recent weeks many people have been seeking clarification from them about communications issued from a new entity called ‘West Cork LEADER LAG.’
‘Many people still refer to our organisation as West Cork LEADER although we were renamed WCDP in 2007. As a result, there is confusion regarding the name of the entity,’ he said.
‘The WCDP wishes to clarify that it is not in any way involved with ‘West Cork LEADER LAG’ and will submit its own application for the management and delivery of the LEADER programme in West Cork for the period 2016-2020,’ he added.
‘Having successfully delivered four LEADER programmes in West Cork since 1992, the WCDP is proud of its record in delivering the programme in West Cork for nearly 25 years, and is fully prepared to engage in a competitive process for the delivery of the programme for the period 2016-2020,’ Mr Dempsey continued.
The West Cork LEADER LAG is a new grouping led by Cork County Council and its West Cork Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), who have been bought together for the purposes of submitting a proposal to deliver the LEADER programme in West Cork. This new grouping will be competing with the WCDP for the contract to deliver the LEADER programme in West Cork from 2016-2020.
‘The LCDC approach will ensure that all of the key stakeholders – both public and private – are involved and working together to ensure consistency of approach across West Cork, thereby streamlining administration, and ensuring that scarce funds are spent on frontline services and targeted towards projects of greatest need. If the LCDC is successful, Cork County Council has committed to investing an additional €1.4m of its own resources in communities in West Cork,’ said a spokesperson for Cork County Council.
The changes in LEADER delivery also mean that it prevents the WCDP from potentially 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,’ said Mr Dempsey. ‘We do not accept the logic of the Department’s position, nor believe that it has any evidential basis.’