The West of England Rural Development Programme (LEADER) is now OPEN for new expressions of interest until 4th October 2018. The programme has a limited amount of funding available and grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Projects which will deliver the LEADER aims of providing new jobs and/or economic growth will score more highly in the application appraisal process but all applications which meet any of the LEADER priorities will be considered. We particularly encourage applications from the forestry sector.

A limited number of grants of between £5000 and £40 000 are available. In most cases match funding of 60% of the total project costs would have to be provided by the applicant. If planning permission or any other permits are required for the project to go ahead this should be in place at the time of submission of the full application. More details of how to apply and the funding criteria are provided on our website.

If a large number of eligible full applications are received before 12th September 2018 the West of England programme may attract re-distributed funding from other areas.

Eligible applications will be considered, and grants potentially awarded, at Local Action Group (LAG) decision making meetings approximately every two months; early applications are encouraged, as the amount of funding still available is expected to decrease following every meeting. The next meeting will be held on the 18th October 2018 and the final decision making meeting (if the fund has not been exhausted before then) will be held on 14th February 2019.

We strongly recommend that you contact the team on 01275 333701 or to check your project could be eligible for funding before submitting an expression of interest. We can also help you complete your full application. Please note that the office is not open on Fridays.


Final report of the Local Democracy Unit



One month left to share your councils views on BROADBAND universal service obligation

As you may know, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport recently issued a consultation on the design of Broadband Universal Service Obligation.

NALC will be responding to consultation on behalf of the local councils that we represent and we would like you to email your thoughts to us on a number of key areas of the consultation. These include:

  • A proposed minimum download speed of at least 10Mbps
  • Proposed additional quality parameters of 1Mbps upload speed, minimum standards for

latency, a maximum sharing between customers (a ‘contention ratio’ of 50:1), and data

cap of at least 100GB per month

  • The technologies which can deliver the USO.
  • A proposed cost threshold of £3,400 per premise, and that demand aggregation should

be an essential feature of USO implementation to ensure as many people who want to

get connected, do get connected

  • That there should be uniform pricing for the USO
  • That the costs should be met by industry through a cost- sharing mechanism which will

be established by Ofcom once the specification for the USO has been set in secondary


  • Measures to be taken in designing the USO that will help minimise market distortion
  • The current level of market interest in becoming a Universal Service Provider(s) (Section
  • Proposed arrangements for monitoring and review of the USO.

Local councils are at the very heart of their local community and that is why NALC thinks it is vital we hear from them.

The deadline for responses to us is 5pm Monday 2 October

If you would like to read more about the consultation please visit:


Please email Jessica Lancod-Frost with any thoughts you have on any of the points included above


View Point


The super-centralisation of the English state – Why we need to move beyond the devolution deception

Robin Hambleton University of the West of England, UK








Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm - CASE STUDY 


ALCA would be delighted to advertise any events that member councils have on this website - just call the Chief Officer, Deborah White 07496 514035 or email

Check out the current events by clicking on the links on the right or visiting the individual area group pages by clicking on the circles above.