Local Authority Relationships

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The relationship between the VCS and local authorities has become much closer over the last 10-15 years, as the strategic role of the VCS in shaping outcomes for the benefit of diverse communities becomes more recognised. The relationship is complex and conflicting with varying experiences between trust and mistrust, co-development and arm’s length relationships and strategic partnerships vs subordinate recipient and participant relationships.

The current drive to greater localism during a period of national austerity will require a further shift in the relationship dynamics between local authorities and the VCS. Identifying local need, targeting resources effectively and protecting those most vulnerable underpin the need for a better working relationship moving forward.

The difficulties lie in managing the dual role of the VCS. Firstly as strategic partner – a sector able to inform and shape better public services, against the secondary role of service deliverer and possible recipient of public funds.

This section provides information on how the relationships between local authorities and the VCS can be improved and strengthened. The section is informed by our March 2011 ‘Big Event’ conference Particular areas of focus include:

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • Grant funding and investment
  • Community engagement in planning
  • Health & Wellbeing Boards
  • Intelligent commissioning
  • Community Asset Transfer

Public sector could save £16billion by working with local charities

Locality, an umbrella body for community organisations, states in its new report that English local authorities could save £16billion per year, and improve services, by commissioning services on a local-by-default basis.

Transforming Challenge Award

18 local authorities, including four in the East Midlands, will share a £6.9million reward for overhauling how they do business, a part of the government’s pledge to transform public services.

Summary of Spending Review 2013

On Wednesday 26 June, Chancellor George Osbourne unveiled his spending review, which is summarised below by the Charity Finance Group.

Public service delivery survey

Locality would like small VCS organisations to complete a short survey to help them understand barriers to contracting and opinions of the sector on the Right to Challenge.

2013 East Midlands councillors list

Following the local elections on 2 May, One East Midlands has updated its annual list of contact details for councillors at city, county, borough and district councils through out the region.

Results of East Midlands 2013 local elections

On Thursday 2 May local elections took place across the East Midlands at Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Social Value Act comes into force

The Public Services (Social Value) Act, which requires local authorities and other commissioners of public services to consider how their services can benefit people living in the local community, came into force on 31 January.

Half of local authorities made disproportionate cuts to VCS

Half of local authorities in England reduced the amount of grant funding to the voluntary sector between 2011/12 and 2012/13 disproportionately, compared to the amount their own budgets have been reduced by, according to research from Compact Voice.

Findings of 2012 Compact survey published

Compact Voice has published the findings of its 2012 annual survey of local Compact groups, which was responded to by over 75% of local Compacts in England, who provided information about how their local partnership agreement was working.

Two new blog posts and a twitter feed

Following her presentation on community organisers at the NAVCA Annual Conference in London on 22 November and the public sector strikes on 30 November, Rachel Quinn, Chief Executive of One East Midlands, has published her latest two blog posts presenting her thoughts on the subjects.

To read both of Rachel's blog posts, entitled Don't blame my dad and Community Organisers - Opportunity or Threat? click here.

You can also now follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelQ_OneEM.


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