A DECISION about who will roll out the next round of LEADER funding is expected to be made within the week, according to the Council’s divisional manager for West Cork.
Cork County Council’s Clodagh Henehan said she expected the independent committee that has been tasked with adjudicating the applications made by West Cork Development Partnership and the West Cork Local Community Development Committee to make its decision before the end of June.
Speaking at a meeting of the Council’s Western Committee on Monday, Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) described the current situation as ‘most confusing’ and said: ‘It should never have happened.’
He was of the opinion that the long-established West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) should have been assigned the task of funding community projects instead of the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) – an organisation that was established in 2014 in response to new local government legislation.
Western Committee chairman, Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind), advised the councillors to wait for the outcome of the tendering process and the formation of a Local Action Group, otherwise known as LAG.
The Local Action Group – which will either be administered by WCDP or LCDC – will accept applications from both private promoters and community groups for projects, which are consistent with the priorities identified in the local development strategies in their area.
Between 2014 and 2020 LEADER will have at its disposal €250m in financial resources, including a cumulative allocation of €13.9m for North, South and West Cork – of which €5.015m has been earmarked for West Cork.
Cllrs Christopher O’Sullivan (FF), Noel O’Donovan (FG) and Paul Hayes (SF) complained that countless projects throughout West Cork are ‘in limbo’, while they wait for the issue to be resolved.