A forum for open discussion on communities and local government policy.

Third Sector strategy

Communities and Local Government and many in the third sector share the same broad vision of prosperous and cohesive communities. In addressing our long term challenges we recognise a stronger partnership with the sector is necessary.

We are proud of what we already do to enable a healthy sector. But we can achieve more. In response to our Capability Review, we committed to publishing a strategy to set a framework for effective, on-going engagement with the third sector.

Our draft third sector strategy launched on 7 June sets out how we propose to improve our engagement with the sector by:

• improving how we work with the sector
• enabling the sector to be an effective local partner in place-shaping
• moving to a more strategic partnership and funding relationship with the sector
• supporting sustainable investment in community anchors

Now we want to hear from third sector organisations, local government and other stakeholders on our proposals in the strategy.

In short our question is:

How can Communities and Local Government improve engagement with the third sector?

The deadline for responses is 20 September 2007. We will then publish a final strategy in the Autumn.

So now its over to you!

This fourm has moved

Posted by Admin on 29/08/2007 - 10:05

Dear Participant,

This discussion forum has now moved to our new ‘Have your say’ area.

Thanks for all your contributions so far. Please keep them coming!

We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to hearing from you on our new website.

Best wishes

Admin Team

Topic space changing

Posted by Admin on 20/08/2007 - 15:26

Updated 24/08/07

Dear Participants,

This discussion forum will close very briefly on Tuesday 28 August 2007 and relaunch as part of our new website on Wednesday 29 August 2007. All current discussions will continue on the new ‘Have your say’ area of our relaunched website, with the discussion history to date available as a PDF download.

Archived discussions will also be moved to the new site.

You will receive an email with your new username and password and the URL to login.

We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to hearing from you on our new website.

Best wishes

Admin Team
Communities and Local Government

Smaller organisations and funding

Posted by Holly Manktelow on 13/08/2007 - 13:17

Thankyou for your comment David, that is certainly an area that we will be looking into.

If you are interested in funding directed at smaller organisations then I would also like to direct you to the Office of the Third Sector website. Here you will find information on the 10-year vision for the third sector set out by the Prime Minister and the Office of the Third Sector on 24th July.

This includes, among other funding streams, a proposed £80 million small grants programme directed towards smaller organisations. For more information please see the Office of the Third Sector website.

Again thanks for your comment and please keep them coming!

Smaller Organisations

Posted by David Futers on 11/08/2007 - 08:50

I belong to, and support the smaller organisations and believe that larger organisations with full time staff can fend for themselves.

Documentation states "90% of the sector is made up of small neighbourhood based community organisations" and goes on to say "strong local relationships between sector and local government are essential"

The Strategy states that "they expect the trend of indirect funding to continue"

Why I ask. Why not look to make direct funding available to smaller organisations.

As the smaller organisations make up the bulk of people in the sector should we not get 90% of the cake, or do we have to continue to pick up the crumbs from the funding table

Small organisations face a number of problems, the participants are in general in full time employment and have to earn money to pay taxes that fund this work, but more important they do not have the time to chase grant funding in a effective manner.

The work they do is valuable to the communities they serve so why not recognise this and have a more flexible way of assisting them with funding and also cut out the number of players taking their "administration" cut along the way.

Definition of third sector

Posted by Holly Manktelow on 05/07/2007 - 14:03

In response to the last comment, the third sector has been defined in the strategy document on pg5. If you would like to refresh your knowledge of the discussion document's contents then a copy is avaible at
www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1510989

The third sector incorporates a huge diversity of non-governmental organisations. They are value driven and principally reinvest surpluses to raise funds to further social, environmental and cultural objectives. The sector includes community groups, voluntary organisations, faith and equalities groups , charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, mutuals and housing associations.

I hope that this has helped and please keep the comments coming!

Third sector - can you define the new jargon please?

Posted by Haringey resident on 05/07/2007 - 10:40

As an ordinary citizen this whole page smacks of the same dissociation that local and national government has with ordinary people. I don't know what "Third sector" means. I am use to the term third age, or third party. I re-read the statement to see if I could work out what it means. Does it mean publicly funded sector or does it mean not for profit and charities?
Or is it the private sector?

To see what I mean replace each of the above alternatives into the statement and you will see that to the average person it could be any one of those. This is especially pertinent to help groups that support the elderly, and who are not involved in the latest jargon created by govt.

Help. What is it exactly?

The Govt should create public funds for a "jury service" type participation in public bodies and advisory groups. Too often the quangos are made up of the same local and national govt figures who are out of touch with their constituents feelings. We are

Sustainable development and public sector procurement

Posted by astralgirl on 04/07/2007 - 16:22

My main comment would be the "wealth generating" role this document sees for the sector. Whose wealth will we be creating and in what way will it be measured? Does it mean replacing funding by charging clients for services? (not an option for many third sector orgs. dealing with the most disadvantaged groups)? Does it mean trading our services? Great, but let's understand we need the rate for the job. Does it mean an income from Public sector tenders and commissioning? Many organisations see the reverse when they realise they are subsidising public sector contracts by underwriting core costs and supporting the fallout from badly designed tenders. How does this strategy support Sustainable Development and Procurement policies? (to be brought in by Local Authorities as we speak) where "wealth" might mean social, economic and/or environmental gains? I would like to see support for the development of sustainable development indicators, built alongside the third sector, with their knowledge of true local impact, which could universally be used and understood by national and local government, development agencies and the third sector, and their success would be measured as to whether they could work from the bottom up. Monitoring attached to this should be designed less as an exercise in increasing landfill and more "as if the sector were a trusted partner" - we are open to a great deal of public scrutiny already, and are accountable to our communities - we have to live here!

How can Communities and Local Government improve engagement with

Posted by Tony Turcotte on 27/06/2007 - 15:16

The most important part of the community is the social housing within it, yet what no local council has ever done to my knowledge is to be honest with the prospective tenant of a housing association. The government invests hundreds of millions of pounds in social housing by the housing associations, Public Money, housing association tenants are nominated by Local Authority waiting and transfer lists, Public Authority, yet they do not tell the prospective tenants that their rights as housing association tenants will be severely restricted. Local Authorities as public bodies are bound by the Freedom of Information Act, The Regulator as a public body is also bound by the Freedom of Information Act, yet housing associations are deemed to be private landlords and therefore NOT bound by the Freedom of Information Act. The Housing Corporation goes out of its way to encourage, and assist housing associations to close down democratically elected tenant bodies in order to protect the confidentiality of housing associations. The Housing Corporation seeks further deregulation of RSL sector, yet at the recent Mayor of Londons conference to let housing associations "Have Your Say" the tenants stated that; "Regulation that has teeth is a precurser to tenant consultation: a police force for the housing association sector is required". Self assessment by housing associations without an inspection by the audit Commission means nothing as it allows housing associations to say what they like about the service that they are supposed to deliver and the Housing Corporation accepting their words and all within Regulatory Code. Until such time that the RSL sector is bound by the Freedom of Information Act Tenant Participation will just be a by word as local people will not be able to have a say as to what is needed in their communities.
Social Housing brings with it a Social Responsibility and that Responsibility should not be allowed to be denied and hidden behind a screen of confidentiality.
Give us the Right to Know, bring all housing associations under Freedom of Information Act, only then can we as tenants get improvements in service delivery and community regeneration, it's us that makes a community not someone in a Boardroom or Whitehall

regional events / urban and rural approach

Posted by Holly Manktelow on 26/06/2007 - 09:37

Thanks again for all your comments. Some Government Offices are organising regional events to discuss the strategy. This will allow for a wider range of sector views on the strategy.

There seem to be some common themes occurring within the forum. In particular, there is some concern about how the strategy will deal with the difference of approach needed in rural and urban areas. Are there anymore views on this matter?

Thanks again for your input so far!
Holly Manktelow

Engaging with Market Town Partnerships

Posted by Chris Wade on 22/06/2007 - 11:33

After an initial review of this discussion paper, Action for Market Towns (AMT) believes that the proposals on ‘Place-Shaping’ could be very relevant to planning the future sustainable development of market towns. Or at least they could be if they showed a greater understanding of existing partnership arrangements in rural areas!

What the proposals do not recognize is that in many market towns, broad-based partnerships already exist and have a track record in local community consultation and planning. Furthermore, these partnerships work alongside locally elected town councils and operate on a meaningful scale across readily identifiable communities.

AMT would like to make the case that there are good reasons to build on these existing arrangements in market towns, rather than introducing new mechanisms. To do this, we will be working with our members to identify good examples where town partnerships have been able to engage effectively with Local Strategic Partnerships and represent their communities’ views. We encourage market town partnerships to respond individually as well as collectively through AMT.

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