26th July 2011

VCS Assembly News Update 26 July (Issue 68)

In this issue:
1. News
2. Dates for Your Diary
3. Funding News
4. Consultations
5. Compact
6. Career Opportunities
7. Important Reminders 

1. News

Public Services Whitepaper Published
The Open Public Services White Paper was published on the 11 July. It sets out how the Government will improve public services. By putting choice and control in the hands of individuals and neighbourhoods, public services will become more responsive to peoples' needs.
The White Paper sets out the government's approach to public services by applying five key principles:

  • Choice - wherever possible we will increase choice
  • Decentralisation - Power should be decentralised to the lowest appropriate level
  • Diversity - Public services should be open to a range of providers
  • Fairness - We will ensure fair access to public services
  • Accountability - Public services should be accountable to users and taxpayers.

The White Paper will be followed over the summer by a wide-ranging discussion with individuals, communities, public sector staff, providers and others with an interest in how public services are delivered. http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/open-public-services-white-paper

The National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises
The Cabinet Office have published the results from the survey carried out last Autumn and Winter. (it was formerly called the National Survey of Third Sector Organisations)
A key finding is a 10% jump in public service provision.

£10m Investment and Contract Readiness Programme Announced
In an open letter on the Cabinet Office website, civil society minister Nick Hurd has announced a new £10m Investment and Contract-Readiness Fund designed to help civil society organisations become ready for new forms of social investment and new levels of public service contracting.  The programme will operate over three years, from April 2012. Further information will become available in due course. The open letter also promotes the Government's open public service listening exercise taking place over the summer. The exercise will look at issues such as accessing open markets, reducing barriers and improving commissioning. Details on how to contribute will be published on the cabinet office website.

New report indicates that forming consortia improves charities' prospects
Research by the Charity Commission indicates that charities can benefit in a variety of ways from working as consortia. The report, Consortia for the delivery of public services: the issues for small and medium-sized charities, also highlights the need for charity trustees to consider the risks they will need to manage when deciding to join or form a service-delivery consortium.

Right to request time for training not to be extended
The government has ruled out extending the right for employees to request time off for training to smaller organisations until 2015, if at all. At the moment, the right only applies to organisations with at least 250 employees, but had originally been due to be extended from April 2011.

New website for sector employment advice resources (from VolResource)
PEACe, the Personnel, Employment Advice and Conciliation Service project run by London Voluntary Service Council, has a new website  containing a range of useful HR material for voluntary sector employers. While many services and publications have a cost, others don't. http://www.lvsc.org.uk/peace

Cheques to continue until 2018 (from VolResource)
The Payments Council has announced that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them and the target for possible closure of the cheque clearing in 2018 has been cancelled.

Limits to how much people can get involved  (from VolResource)
The ResPublica think-tank has published 'Civic Limits: How much more involved can people get?', "exploring the best available data on the state of civic life in Britain and describing what in practical terms is required to get more people involved". Find it on their Research page, http://www.respublica.org.uk/research

Information to help smaller community activities
Community Toolkit is a new "online information resource for people who want to get involved in organising smaller, straightforward community activities". Created by Zurich Insurance to address barriers to community volunteering, it provides guidance on some legal, health and safety, insurance and planning issues. Check it out at http://www.communitytoolkit.co.uk.

Involving third sector in designing public services
The Scottish Government has published 'A Practical Guide to Forming and Operating Public Social Partnerships'. A Public Social Partnership is defined as a "strategic partnering arrangement which involves the third sector earlier and more deeply in the design and commissioning of public services". The guide builds on the experience of ten projects in a range of areas including social care, youth services and recycling, which piloted new ways to link the public and third sectors and to ensure that people and communities are kept at the centre of all discussions on the design and management of the service.

2. Dates for Your Diary

Transformation of Adult Social Care - Live Life: Your Way
The way adult social care services are developed and delivered is changing and Shropshire Council is asking for your help to make change locally. Services have changed little over the past 30 years, but the people we serve and the county we live in has changed greatly. This is your chance to get involved to help create a new shared vision that fits the needs of Shropshire's residents.

A series of events are being held across Shropshire, throughout the summer, giving you the opportunity to share your views and experiences, helping to develop the best range of services for the people of our county. They will be held on the following dates:

  • Shrewsbury Town Football Club 29 July - 9:30-12:00
  • The Marches School, Oswestry 4 August - 1:30-4:00
  • Bridgnorth Leisure Centre 18 August - 1:30-4:00
  • Whitchurch Leisure Centre 22 August 1:30-4:00
  • Ludlow Food Centre 24 August - 1:30-4:00
  • Feedback Event, Council Chamber, Shirehall, Shrewsbury 23 September- 9:30-12:00

The first phase of consultation starts on 4 July and ends on 30 September 2011.The aim is to develop a 21st century service that is fit for the people it serves. Please come along to any of the sessions and have your say of the future of care and support in our county.
Email: livelifeyourway@shropshire.gov.uk
Phone: 0345 678 9005
Facebook: Go to www.facebook.com and search for: Shropshire:livelfeyourway
Twitter: Go to www.twitter.com and search for: @livelifeyourway
Post: Live Life - Your Way, Shropshire Council, Assessment & Eligibility, Ptarmigan, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG.

'GOTOJAIL' - The Cell Project - Invitation until 13 August
Rideout would like to draw your attention to an innovative arts and engagement project running in Stoke - complemented by a dedicated interactive website. The arts and crime education charity Rideout has built and placed in a disused shop unit in Stoke, an exact replica prison cell as you would find in a UK prison complete with fittings from suppliers to HM prison service.  On Fridays and Saturdays there are two prisoners, played by ex prisoners 'in role', sharing the cell so visitors are able to engage closely with the prison/ prisoner experience and record opinions on a number of key questions through a digital interface alongside the cell.  Additionally, in person and online visitors can set the privileges the prisoners are allowed. If you are able to visit in person, the cell is open now through Saturday 13 August at Number 12 Piccadilly, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1DH (Wednesday-Saturday; 12PM - 5PM only). If you cannot visit in person, you are able to visit the cell by a web camera installed in the cell allowing conversations between visitors and 'prisoners' to be streamed live on the internet:www.gotojail.info  Here you can also determine the time you think the prisoners should be spending in prison and what material effects they should be allowed in their cell.  The actual material goods; tv, playstation, duvets, etc. are removed or added to the real cell as the majority vote determines. We hope you will take up the immediate option of visiting online and engaging in the debate. For more information, contact Saul Hewish, Co-Director of Rideout:
Email: admin@rideout.org.uk or call 01782 325 555.

Engaging vulnerable young people: what works?
In response to customer demand, the above course is now being run twice a day (morning and afternoon sessions) at the following venues and dates:
Derby: Riverside Centre Pride Park - Thursday 3rd November
Glasgow: Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport - Wednesday 9th November
Leeds: Holiday Inn Garforth - Wednesday 16th November
London: Holiday Inn Brent Cross - Wednesday 23rd November
The course was developed in response to recommendations from recent case reviews and is based on the experiences of our colleagues in Safe and Sound Derby and other expert practitioners from around the UK. The learning aims for the course are as follows:

  • Understand why vulnerable young people are often difficult to engage
  • Confront some of the stereotyping that creates barriers to effective communication
  • Explore why some young people are especially difficult to engage
  • Be aware of good practice, and other helpful links and resources
  • Identify ways to engage with hard to reach young people
  • Plan how to transfer their learning into practice

The price per delegate is £99+VAT including refreshments on arrival and break time.
To book your place, please click on this link: http://www.justwhistle.org.uk/events.php (and scroll down to this event). Alternatively, please contact us for details of discounts for group bookings.

Demonstrating impact - what it's all about
One day 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 11 October at Reviive, Unit 4, Knight's Park, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury SY1 3AB

Booking forms to be sent to rosemary@furniturescheme.co.uk or rosemarycollie@yahoo.com 

pdfSocial Impact Training Oct 2011 (170.36KB)

pdfSIP_Booking_Form[1] (143.11KB)

3. Funding News

Transforming Infrastructure Support
BIG Fund (the non-Lottery arm of the BIG Lottery) has opened a short Expressions of Interest period (to 5th August) for organisations wishing to apply to the newly announced Transforming Infrastructure Fund. The criteria/objectives for this fund are very tightly focused. In the guidance notes OCS says:
'OCS views this as a final national level investment in this area, aimed at transformational activities such as:

  • Collaboration and consolidation - creating more efficient, effective and agile organisations through rethinking business models, asset consolidation, merger of back-office functions and shared services.
  • The redesign and integration of services towards more imaginative and enterprising approaches that are valued and supported locally.
  • Better links with local businesses; more peer-to- peer support within the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and stronger partnerships with local statutory bodies, particularly the relevant local authority.
  • Sustainability in the long-term without ongoing support from central Government.'

Funding of up to £400,000 per upper tier local authority area will be available over a maximum of eighteen months - £600,000 in the seven local authority areas with a population of over 1m - but only one application per upper tier local authority area will be allowed. See:

IMPACT Awards 2011
The IMPACT Awards have been running since 1997 and are designed to recognise and reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people's health. They are funded by GlaxoSmithKline and managed in partnership with The King's Fund.
The awards are open to registered charities that are at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with a total annual income between £10,000 and £1.5 million.
Benefits of applying

  • Up to eight winners will receive £25,000
  • Up to four highly commended awards of £5,000 and up to three runners-up awards of £3,000 will be made
  • You decide how to use the award money
  • Organisations that win or are highly commended for an award will be invited to send up to two representatives to take part in the GSK IMPACT Awards Development Network, a free training programme valued at £4,000 for each organisation.
  • The awards are designed to recognise success and achievements for existing work so you do not have to present a new project
  • The winning organisations will be visited by a photographer, have a professional film made and will receive support with press and publicity


ESF Equal Opportunities and Sustainable Development Awards - Applications wanted
ESF providers and sub-contractors are invited to apply for this year's ESF Mainstreaming Leader Awards.  The awards, which were first launched in 2010, recognise those ESF providers and sub-contractors who 'go the extra mile' to promote equal opportunities and sustainable development. The awards aim to mainstream these areas of work by promoting the award winners' good practice with other partners across the programme.
In addition to the two familiar award categories - ESF Mainstreaming Leader and ESF Mainstreaming Leader Specialist Project - there is a third category of award - ESF Gender Equality Mainstreaming Leader - which recognises projects which have demonstrated good practice in promoting gender equality. The closing date for applications is 29 July 2011.

West Midlands ERDF Programme - Changes Made
A number of key changes and activities that planned for the West Midlands ERDF Programme have now happened.  The formal transfer of responsibility for management of the Programme from Advantage West Midlands to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) took place on 1 July, and the local Programme Delivery Team is now based at 5 St Philips Place, Colmore Row, Birmingham. In line with the transfer there will be some changes to processes and procedures to ensure all the regions are nationally consistent. Another key activity is the midterm evaluation of the ERDF Programme. The results of the evaluation will play a key role in the future direction of the Programme. Early findings highlight an effective and well managed Programme with Priority 1 and 2 performing particularly well. There is potential scope for some changes, however overall a strong partnership approach will remain an important element to ensure all areas of the Programme perform well. For more news visit the new ERDF website at:

Funding news provided by Gary Spence, External Funding Officer at Shropshire Council and the West Midlands European Network.

4. Consultations

Current Shropshire Council Consultations
All Shropshire Council led consultations taking place are listed on the Shropshire Council website. Current consultations include:

  • Live life: your way - adult social care consultation (as mentioned above)
  • Education for Shropshire - consultation next steps
  • Local Transport Plan - consultation ends 29/07/11
  • Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations - ends 5/8/11
  • Review of Oswestry parish boundaries - consultation ends 15/9/11
  • Homelessness Strategy - consultation ends 30/09/11
  • Traffic Regulation Orders - ongoing

For details of all the consultations visit: www.shropshire.gov.uk/consultations

Government plans on opening public services (see News item above)
The government published its White Paper on reforming public services, titled 'Open Public Services', on Monday (11th July). It contains a number of "questions for consultation", and there is also a consultation website at: http://www.openpublicservices.cabinetoffice.gov.uk. The deadline appears to be "the middle of September".

5. Compact

No news this issue - check the next newsletter for more Compact news.

If you would like to become a Compact Champion please email me, Sarah Dodds, sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk or telephone 01743 252740.

Have you got a Compact story? Email sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk and share it with others.

6. Career Opportunities

Job Vacancies - Landau Ltd.
Training Officer
Hours of work: 22.5 hours (Part time)
Location: Sub Regional remit (Stoke, Shropshire, Wednesbury) Office base to be confirmed
Salary: £23k per annum pro rata

pdfAdvert Part Time Training Officer (27.37KB)

Quality Assurance Manager
Hours of work: 22.5 hours (Part time)
Location: Sub regional remit (Stoke, Shropshire, Wednesbury) Office base to be confirmed
Salary: 23k per annum - pro rata

pdfAdvert Part Time Quality Assurance Manager (27.98KB)

Please see the attached details and application form. The deadline for returning applications is 29 July 2011.  Applicants will need to complete the application form and submit to: Hilary Oliver HR Officer at  Landau, 5 Landau Court, Tan Bank, Wellington, TF1 1HE or email completed application form to  hilary.oliver@landau.co.uk   Telephone: 01952 221467. 

docApplication form Llandau Ltd (275KB)

More career opportunities are advertised on the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership website. Visit: www.ShropshireVCS.org.uk

7. Important Reminders

News Items

VCS Assembly Recession Survey -
Since 2009 the VCS Assembly Board has led work to monitor the impact of the recession and undertaken an annual survey. It is really important to communicate current issues and pressures and I would be very grateful for your input. Please complete on-line:

Mapping Big Society - Shropshire in top 5
A new report from localism think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN) published on the 29 June shows which areas of the country are most ready to benefit and which are most at risk from the Government's Big Society agenda.
map of areas across England giving their "Big Society score" is available on The Guardian's Datablog. Sorting the data by score shows that Shropshire has the 5th highest Big Value Score.
See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jun/29/big-society-data-mapped

National Community Organisers recruitment begins (from VolResource)
The recruitment process for the first 30 senior community organisers under the government's Community Organisers programme has started, Locality has announced. Once in place at eleven 'kickstarter' organisations around England, they will be trained by Re:generate.


CAF launches new social investment fund
The Charities Aid Foundation has launched a new social investment fund, the CAF Social Impact Fund, where people can invest their "charitable capital" to provide loans for charities. https://www.cafonline.org/my.../social.../caf-social-impact-fund.aspx

WMEN Training Programme, Summer 2011
For information on all courses see:

NCVO Trustee Conference  - 31 October 2011
Booking for the VCVO conference has now opened.
Visit: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/trusteeconference2011 or contact Sue Beckett on 020 7520 3153, susan.beckett@ncvo-vol.org.uk

NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference 2011
7 and 8 September 2011 
See the following web page for details and how to book. http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/researchconf11#what

Trustees' Week 2011
This year's event will run from 31st October to 6th November. See Charity Commission news item at: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/RSS/News/pr_trustees_2011.aspx.


Current Shropshire Council Consultations

  • Local Transport Plan - consultation ends 29/07/11 
  • Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations - ends 5/8/11
  • Review of Oswestry parish boundaries - consultation ends 15/9/11
  • Traffic Regulation Orders - ongoing

For details please see:

Bus Strategy
The Bus Strategy for Shropshire 2011 - 2016  consultation has been included in previous newsletters. The consultation process is now complete; the final report which was approved by Cabinet on Wednesday 11 May can be viewed at: www.shropshire.gov.uk/transportconsultation as well as a summary of the forthcoming changes to services. Should you require any further information regarding these changes please do not hesitate to contact the Passenger Transport Team on 01743 253013 or email passtrans@shropshire.gov.uk .  For details of all bus timetables in Shropshire please contact Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.traveline.info

VAT on cost sharing arrangements
A consultation on how the European VAT cost sharing exemption might be used in the UK has been started by HM Revenue and Customs. Responses by 30th September to:

Implementing the charitable legacies incentive
HM Revenue and Customs is consulting on the proposals around implementing a lower rate of inheritance tax when leaving 10% of an estate to charity, as announced in the Budget earlier this year. Responses will be used in developing the detail of the policy for encouraging charitable legacies. Deadline 31 August.

Shropshire used as National Case Study
Compact working in Shropshire has been highlighted as a national good practice case study.

Herefordshire's Compact out for consultation
See: http://consult.herefordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/compact/consultationHome

As usual please send details of any events, news items and other opportunities you would like to share with others.

Best wishes
Sarah Dodds
VCS Assembly Coordinator
Telephone 01743 252740  
Email: sarah.dodds@shropshire.gov.uk
Website: www.2shrop.net/shropvcsassembly