Arising from a report of the Group Manager for Growth, Economy and Delivery, the Economy Policy Development Group had made the following recommendations:
a) That the contribution to the Devon & Exeter Rail Project be reviewed following formation of a new Rail Forum.
b) That the Council continues to offer an annual grant of £45,000 for 2019/20 to the Grand Western Canal to support its maintenance.
c) That an assessment be undertaken, in liaison with Devon County Council, prior to the financial year 2020/21 to inform decision making with regard to the level of future grant support for the Canal.
The Leader read an email from the Chairman of Holcombe Rogus Parish Council which highlighted the original funding arrangements and joint obligations for the Grand Western Canal.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration referring to the Devon and Exeter Rail Project stated that following changes to personnel, DCC had decided that it could no longer administer the group and it was decided to change the working group into a forum aligned to the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership with wider community involvement. The District Council had been contributing £3,500 annually to the Devon & Exeter Rail Project for a number of years, however, with the change of structure it seemed appropriate to review future funding arrangements.
With regard to the Grand Western Canal, he reported that the Council currently provided £45k as an annual grant towards the running of the canal which was well received by the County Council. He highlighted the breach incident in 2012 and the resolution of Council to offer a contribution towards the emergency works; however, the money had not been drawn down. With regard to the email from the Chairman of Holcombe Rogus Parish Council, at no stage had the County Council complained about the current level of funding and were happy to take part in the review
Consideration was given to the level of funding and the process for review.
RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Policy Development Group be approved.
(Proposed by Cllr R J Chesterton and seconded by Cllr C R Slade)
i) Cllr C R Slade declared a personal interest as Chairman of the Grand Western Canal Joint Advisory Committee and he had been a member of the Devon and Exeter Rail Project;
ii) *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.