Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport
I will shortly invite local authorities in Wales to submit applications for funding from the Active Travel Fund for the 2021/22 financial year.
Originally set up for the three years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21, we are showing our strong commitment to active travel by continuing this funding to deliver the schemes developed by local authorities.
Since becoming Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, I have made clear that I want to challenge and support local authorities to raise the quality and ambition and improve overall delivery of active travel schemes. This means putting in place resource to work with local authorities in each region on their scheme prioritisation and development at the pre funding application stage and throughout scheme implementation.
I have agreed that this additional support and the grant management of the Active Travel Fund, including the day-to-day administration and claim processing will be provided through Transport for Wales (TfW), who will work with my officials to ensure that our processes work as seamlessly as possible.
An important part of this work was the development by TfW of an online grant application portal, which built on learning from a small pilot run for last year’s grant. For 2021/22 all applications will be submitted through the newly developed system, which is intended to make the application and appraisal process more efficient for local authorities and will make on-going tracking and monitoring over the life of each scheme simpler. TfW will also develop consistent monitoring and evaluation frameworks to track the impact of the funding.
TfW is company limited by guarantee, wholly owned by the Welsh Ministers. TfW do not hold executive functions; executive functions remain with the Welsh Ministers, and the Welsh Ministers retain legal responsibility for their discharge. TfW’s remit letter and the defined governance and assurance framework directs TfW’s activities in this context.
I will provide a further update when I am announcing the successful applications for the coming financial year.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.