Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Partnership Funding Opportunities For Flood Risk Management Schemes

Cllr Ian Bates (Con, Hemingfords
and Fenstanton)
Cllr Ian Bates, the Conservative Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning has sent a letter to all Parish Councils (presumably across Cambridgeshire) inviting them to fund Flood Defence Work (a County Council responsibility).

My issue with this is that what we are really talking about here is the same money, our taxes, which traditionally has been split between Westminster, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, and Bar Hill Parish Council being recombined to spend on a specific area. We've seen it with with the Minor Highways Improvements Panel and now we're seeing it with this. It's the same money. What we're talking about is paying someone to split it, and then someone else to put it together again just so Cambridgeshire County Council (or whatever the responsible authority is, South Cambridgeshire is just as guilty!) can freeze their Council Tax while forcing authorities lower down the chain to raise theres.

I'll say it again; It's the same money!

Anyway, here's the text from Cllr Bates letter;

As you may aware, the Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) Order 2012 came into force on the 27 March 2012. This order is made to exercise the powers conferred by sections 8(2) and 235(2) of the Localism Act 2011. The enactment of the order gives powers to eligible parish and town councils to fund schemes, such as flood alleviation, above Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.  
Cambridgeshire County Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority in the County is pleased to see the commencement of this order. We have been working in partnership with many parish and town councils, and found that sometimes they were unable to commit the level of funds desired because of restrictions under the Local Government Act. The Government has now addressed this issue, by changing the funding mechanism for local flood risk management schemes - which emphasises partnership contribution to schemes at a local level.  
The principle of the new funding mechanism is that higher levels of local partnership contributions have a greater chance of accessing Government match funding. This new approach allows more local schemes to go ahead, and also enables local communities to have a greater say in the management of their flood risk.  
In line with the new funding mechanism, this order provides a good opportunity for local communities to secure local contributions for flood risk management schemes.
More information on the order can be found at the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2012/9780111519868/contents 
If you have any questions related to this letter, or would like to discuss it further please contact Cambridgeshire County Council’s Flood and Water Manager – Sass Pledger, at sass.pledger@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. 
I'd encourage every Parish Council to reject this. What's next? If Waterbeach want's to keep the Army Barracks then the local Councils need to pay the Army some money?!

Drives me wild.