LEADER Funding Must Not Be Hived Off To Local Authorities – IFA

IFA President Eddie Downey has said the funding allocated to the Leader programme in the CAP Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 must not be hived off to local authorities at the expense of local communities and promoters.


Mr Downey was responding to the announcement today by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Phil Hogan that the total EU and national funding available to the Leader programme will be €250m or €36m/annum over the next seven years.


The IFA President said the decision of the Government to establish Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each local authority area puts the current Leader model in serious jeopardy. He called for assurances from the Minister that existing structures continue to deliver local development strategies for both the Leader and the local and community development programme. This can be best be done by ensuring that the delivery body is the local action group.


Mr Downey pointed out that the EU Commission has recognised that the existing Leader structures cater for local communities with broad representation across all sectors of rural society. The new LCDCs must accommodate a bottom-up approach to local development and must have an independent Chairman and not a local authority member or County Manager.

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