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 VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 23rd September, 2014.

 

Present:  Councillor E. Williams (Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, Dr. I.J. Johnson, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, R.A. Penrose and C.J. Williams.

 

Also present: Ms. A. Steere (Vale Volunteer Bureau), Ms. R. Connor (Vale Centre for Voluntary Services), Ms. L. Donovan (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board), Ms. T. Burris (Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale) and Mr. M. Davies (Children and Young People’s Partnership Manager).

 

 

420     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors N. Moore (Vice-Chairman), Ms. R. Birch, L. Burnett, Ms. K. Quinn (Atal y Fro) Ms. A. Harris (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) and Ms. C. Chapman (MIND in the Vale).

 

 

421     MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 9th July, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

422     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

423     MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15 TO 2017/18 – REPORT TO CABINET 11TH AUGUST, 2014 –

 

It was agreed that the Medium Term Financial Plan 2014/15 to 2017/18 and the Reshaping Services report would be considered simultaneously.  A presentation on these items was received by the Committee given by Mr. Alan Jenkins, Head of Finance, and Mr. Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development.

 

 

424     RESHAPING SERVICES - A NEW CHANGE PROGRAMME FOR THE COUNCIL (REF) -

 

The contents of the draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2014/15 - 2017/18 report; was endorsed by Cabinet at a meeting on the 11th August, 2014 and was included within the documentation received by the Committee prior to the meeting.  The Head of Finance informed the Committee that the Medium Term Financial Plan was not a budget but the plan based on the best available information.  The purpose of the plan was to link the Council’s strategic planning process with the budget process and to ensure consistency between them.  It was a mechanism that attempted to match future predicted resources and expenditure, identify potential shortfalls and provide the financial framework for the next 3-5 years.  He further confirmed that it was not a budget setting process that allocated detailed budgets for services. Its purpose was to inform Members and to suggest a way of dealing with the future financial pressures facing the Council.

 

The Head of Finance informed the Committee that three quarters of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s net funding came from Welsh Government and the other quarter from Council Tax.  Previous assumptions regarding future funding settlements from Welsh Government had been revised following a letter issued in June 2014 by the Minister for Local Government and Government Business to all Welsh Local Authorities.  The letter raised the prospect of the 2015/16 assessment being a reduction of up to 4.5% in cash terms.  The indicative figure for the Vale for 2015/16 had previously been advised as a reduction of 1.64% with each 1% additional reduction equating to approximately £1.5m less funding.  Furthermore, he informed the Committee that the Minister had stated that local authorities should assume that current trends in local government funding would continue and that local authorities should scenario plan for a range of challenging settlements beyond 2015/16.  The Head of Finance informed the Committee that the latest Medium Term Financial Plan had subsequently been based on the assumption of varying settlements from Welsh Government, of decreases of 4.5% in cash terms in 2015/16, a further 4% reduction in 2016/17 and 2% reduction in 2017/18.

 

The Head of Finance informed the Committee that a variety of legislative, demographic and other issues would have an impact on the Medium Term Financial Plan and that these would have financial consequences and that the financial pressures could possibly be understated.  The Head of Finance provided the financial context for the Reshaping Services Programme and advised the Committee that some £32.4m of savings needed to be found over the next three years, of which £18m had been identified, however, these had not yet been implemented.  There was therefore a £14m shortfall in the savings targets.  The Head of Finance further informed the Committee that the figures contained within the Medium Term Financial Plan were based on assumptions and the best available information at the time.  The Council would need to wait until they received their settlement and would continue to work closely with the WLGA. 

 

The Head of Finance informed the Committee that £61m worth of savings were required over eight year period from 2010-2018, which excluded schools.  The Welsh Government had set a minimum funding commitment for Education, and the schools’ budget represented 37% of the overall Council budget.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council ranked 20th out of the 22 Welsh authorities for funding per head of population and that the Council’s current Band D Council Tax was below the Welsh average at £1,029.42. 

 

The Committee was shown a graph which had been modelled by the Welsh Local Government Association to illustrate the impact of the level of funding reduction, if Welsh Government continued to require protection for Education and a possible level of protection for Social Services.  The graph further illustrated that the full burden of the budget reductions would fall on other services which included many statutory services, therefore 'business as usual’ was not an option, however, current way of business could not continue, however, there would be opportunities within the change programme which included investigating the way in which the Council works and delivers its services. 

 

Following the presentation from the Head of Finance, a Member stated that Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council had received the Reshaping Services Programme briefing and also received the report at Scrutiny Committees; therefore they had been given the opportunity to make their comments and it was important that the Voluntary Sector were now provided with the opportunity to put forward their views on this programme.

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee that the Reshaping Services Change Programme was in response to the Council’s dire financial situation and that the Authority would need to look at new ways of progressing as a Council.  The Reshaping Services report had been considered by Cabinet on the 11th August 2014 and it had been agreed in principle to institute a Reshaping Services strategy and change programme and to refer the report for consultation purposes to the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee.

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee of the conventional options for savings that were normally employed by Councils which included the following:

  • Efficiencies
  • Effectiveness - which involved questioning how the authority was providing services
  • Income generation - which involved ascertaining whether services had scope for the generation of revenue
  • Targeted cuts and decommissioning - these had not been identified as yet.

The Committee was informed about alternative delivery models which included:

  • Joint provision with other public sector bodies
  • Delivery by external partners
  • Council owed companies

-        Joint ventures

-        Trading companies

-        Employee / community owned companies

  • Co-production.

The Council was already involved with joint provision for services which included the Joint Education Service, Prosiect Gwyrdd and the proposed joint Regulatory Services with Cardiff Council and Bridgend County Borough Council.  He confirmed that public sector bodies were already in dialogue with each other about how to deal with joint provision of services and provide services more effectively and efficiently. 

 

The Committee was informed that the Authority already had experience of outsourcing certain services to external partners, such as the leisure centres to Parkwood and had transferred Dyffryn House to an external partner, the National Trust.

 

The Committee was informed that Council owned companies would involve the splitting off of a Council service from its parent, making it a separate, stand-alone company and staff would transfer to the new company.  The main variants of Council owned companies were:

  • Joint Ventures
  • Local Authority owned companies
  • Employee / community owned companies
  • Privately owned companies.

Joint ventures involved the Council and a private sector company forming a newly jointly owned company to sell and deliver a service.  They were used as a means of injecting significant funding to support rapid growth in the business, in return for an ownership stake. 

 

Local authority trading companies were set up with the express purpose of entering into contracts with the public or private sectors and acting as an 'incubator’, run on commercial lines but under the protection of the Council.  In this way a service could be nurtured and allowed to develop by the Council before being fully exposed to the rigours of the commercial world. 

 

Employee / community owned companies were owned by employees and their profits were redistributed to employees and the community.  Mutuals and Co-operatives were examples of these kinds of companies.  The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee that the Authority was starting to look at aspects of co-production.

 

The Committee was informed of the pros and cons of Council owned companies.  The main positives were that they would deliver cost savings by introducing a commercial discipline, the companies would be able to invest, there would be more flexibility and adaptability within the services and the company would have the ability to trade commercially and the Council would remain involved strategically, but not operationally.

 

The advantages of Mutuals and Co-operatives would be that there would be greater employee motivation and satisfaction due to self-determination.  Furthermore, there would be lower absentee levels and greater community satisfaction.  These companies were able to focus on citizen priorities and the Council would be on-board and retain a stake in the operations. 

 

The downside of Council owned companies was that the Council would lose operational control, there could possibly be a lack of entrepreneurial enthusiasm in local authorities as well as the skills needed to set up a business.  Furthermore, there could be an impact on pay, terms and conditions and pensions of staff and possible service fragmentation, there was also a lack of clear legislation on these companies, particularly for Co-operatives and Mutuals.

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee that co-production was not a vehicle for service development but was a set of values.  He informed the Committee of a definition from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) which stated that co-production was:

 

'Seeing people and communities as assets and equals in the design and delivery of services.  Services are built around the person and community creating opportunities for engage more actively in the community in which they live. 

 

Co-production unlocks the potential resources of time, money and expertise to combine with and add to state funding so that state resources are used to enable and maximise the citizen and community action, social capital and care.'

 

Following the presentation the Chairman asked for questions from Members of the Committee.  A Member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council stated that Wales had been underfunded for some time and this was becoming worse due to the level of the cuts.  The Member asked what the delivery timetable was for the Reshaping Services programme, which services the Authority was looking to possibly outsource and how would this programme affect the voluntary sector.  In response the Head of Performance and Development stated that there were several stages involved with the timescale for the Change Programme and that the first stage was to raise awareness of the programme itself.  The Reshaping Services Programme was currently in the consultation phase and the report had been taken to the Local Service Board, the Community Liaison Committee and the Council was also consulting with Trade Unions.  He advised that the main aim at this stage was to inform people and help them understand the current financial position and gave an assurance that any proposals would be taken seriously.  

 

The timescale for the Change Programme was that in autumn 2014 a substantive strategy would be taken to Cabinet.  This would be followed by engagement with and the establishment of a governance structure.  He informed the Committee that baseline assessments of services were being carried out to identify possible problems, the effectiveness of services and also to identify ways of delivering services differently.  Following the baseline assessments, the assessments would be analysed with a view to looking at and identifying possible service reviews to initiate.  The baseline assessments and service reviews would be completed by April 2015 and the Change Programme would last between three and five years.  The Head of Performance and Development further informed the Committee that he wanted to engage with the voluntary sector to take things forward.

 

Following the presentation, Rachel Connor, Executive Director of the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS), presented the initial response of the Third Sector to the Reshaping Services Change Programme, copies of which were circulated at the meeting.  Ms. Connor informed the Committee that they had received a briefing from the Head of Performance and Development and the Head of Human Resources on the change programme and that the attendees had been very optimistic.

 

Following the presentation of the Cabinet paper on Reshaping Services at the Local Service Board in August, VCVS held a briefing event to engage the Third Sector in looking at how they might input to this complex scenario.

 

Ms. Connor stated that it had been noted that the Reshaping Services agenda outlined the need to consider alternative delivery models for services and that the Third Sector was well placed to play a role in these discussions, given its experience in innovative design and delivery, flexibility and adaptability to change.  However, ongoing conversations would need to look not just at what was currently being provided and how best to provide that, but also to consider the need to do different things.  This required looking at what was needed, why it was needed and who could deliver the services.  Ms. Connor stated that the result might be not only a move to different providers of current services, but also encompass the development of different services delivered by a range of providers.  An example of this was the provision of residential care.  This could be looked at differently in terms of the quality of the offer and there was a role for the Third Sector in providing quality residential care on a different, not for profit model.

 

The Committee was informed that there were a number of important issues to consider; which included the costs of developing different models, which could not be borne by the Third Sector alone.  Over the last few years, the Third Sector locally had lost resources and therefore capacity and faced increased competition for external funding from sources such as the Lottery.  Ms. Connor stated that a move to different models of service, delivered by the Third Sector, must include some longer term commitment from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to the Third Sector organisations involved.  Furthermore, there was also the issue of the public sector moving to a function which was primarily about managing contracts and relationships.  As more services were moved to other providers, the safety net function of local authorities would be diluted and disappear.  An example was given of a residential care home which if primarily delivered by the private sector; and the provider decided to close down, what role the local authority would have in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

 

Ms. Connor informed the Committee with regard to what the Third Sector would need to be able to contribute to the Reshaping Services programme. The initial thoughts were that involvement in discussions about Reshaping Services from the beginning would support the Third Sector contribution.  A better understanding of the range of Council services would help Third Sector services identify the areas where they may be able to deliver.  It would help the Third Sector take a broader look beyond what they currently provided.

 

There were a number of Third Sector services which were currently being funded by the Council, but which potentially faced funding reductions.  These services might well be the kinds of services which Reshaping Services was aiming to achieve.

 

The Third Sector currently played a vital role in promoting health and wellbeing and as such contributed both to the public health agenda and to legislation such as the Future Generations Bill.  The preventative nature of these services, which saved future, more costly interventions from taking place, needed to be considered.

 

Ms. Connor informed the Committee that some Third Sector organisations had already established trading and enterprise companies which could potentially take on a range of service provision, if adequately resourced.

 

An identified person within the Council who could liaise with the Third Sector about proposals submitted would help facilitate conversations and they could ensure that other Council staff were involved in discussions as appropriate.

 

The Committee was informed that VCVS and the wider Third Sector were keen to work with the Council to put in place a process whereby Expressions of Interest in providing services could be submitted, discussed and evaluated and that Third Sector organisations were being encouraged to think outside their normal areas of delivery.

 

Ms. Connor confirmed that VCVS would support the Reshaping Services strategy, with support from Third Sector Representatives, drawn from a range of Third Sector organisations and that resources would be required to support this increased activity.

 

Ms. Connor expressed concern that competitive tendering was not well suited to smaller, local Third Sector groups or to supporting co-production on a local basis.  A preferred providers list would ensure that local Third Sector groups, which provided local services and supported co-production on a local community basis, were supported to bid for statutory funding.  Where this was not possible or the size of the contract would suggest broader appeal from larger organisations, then the weighting in the score card for evaluation should take 'co-production’ more into account.  Ms. Connor also advised that there could be other models of commissioning which were alternative to either contracts or grants, and which might work better with new models of service.

 

Ms. Connor informed the Committee with regard to other areas for consideration, which included apprising them that there was a range of help available via Wales Co-operative Centre, Co-production Wales and Social Board Wales, which could be utilised.  There needed to be a way of encouraging private sector investment, as it might not be easy to pull in private capital to support new models of service delivery, unless there was a commercial gain involved.

 

New models of service delivery might require looking at new roles, rather than perpetuating traditional health and social care roles. Discussions about Reshaping Services would benefit from involving Health Board colleagues as investment in social services had an impact on use of health services.

 

The proposed merger of local authorities was due to take place by 2020 and a legacy statement detailing Third Sector funding at the time of merger would provide stability to the organisations funded.

 

Following the presentation of Ms. Connor’s report, a Member stated that the Authority would need to look at all service areas, however the Local Authority would need to maintain some overall control of these services.  Members further expressed concern that the Council’s reserves could be at a minimum by 2018/19 and therefore a level of urgency was required in delivering the Reshaping Services agenda. 

 

A Member thanked Ms. Connor for her report and expressed concern with regards to commissioning and the danger of the Third Sector being out-bid and that it was important to remember the central nature of services and that people and services were involved and co-production was central to this.  The Member also stated that the Reshaping Services programme should not be rushed without ensuring that the right services were provided at the end of it, however, appreciated that it was a difficult situation as the Authority was also dealing with the possibility of mergers concurrently.

 

A Member expressed the view that there needed to be a lot of consultation with stakeholders and concurred that the change programme should not be rushed and asked whether the Authority could look to well-run establishments for ideas of best practice and stated that they would like to maintain the ethos of the way services and establishments were currently run.

 

Ms. Connor confirmed that the request for a nominated officer could assist with the co-ordination of the Change Programme across the Authority and facilitate liaisons with various Third Sector bodies, however the officer would need to be the right point of contact and that the right representatives would also need to be identified within the Third Sector to review services.

 

The Chairman stated that the key element within the Change Programme was effective communication.  A Member expressed the view that joint ventures and stand-alone companies had more potential and had improved performance and income streams and that these could also be established with other authorities.  Furthermore, he stated that links could be made with outside sectors, including the Third Sector, with a view to income generation. 

 

The representative from Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board informed the Committee that the Health Service was not in a dissimilar situation to local authorities and would embrace the Reshaping Services agenda, however, it was important that all parties worked together and also considered any possible negative impact on the Health Service and advised that they would like to build upon the work that had been started such as the integrated health work streams.  In response to this, a Member stated that this was why it was important that Third Sector bodies were involved from the outset of the programme and that any change in services added to the role currently provided by the Health Services. 

 

Following consideration of the Reshaping Services report and the Third Sector response the Committee

 

AGREED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the Reshaping Services report and the presentation given to the Committee be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T it be recognised that the Third Sector were keen to engage in meaningful conversations about any proposals with the aim of contributing to Reshaping Services.

 

(3)       T H A T involvement in discussions about Reshaping Services from the beginning would support the Third Sector contribution.

 

(4)       T H A T having an identified person within the Council to liaise with the Third Sector about proposals submitted would help facilitate those conversations and they could ensure that other Council staff were involved in discussions as appropriate.

 

(5)       T H A T additional resources to enable the Third Sector to participate fully in the co-production and planning involved in this initiative would be required.

 

(6)       T H A T Cabinet be informed of the above.

 

Reason for Recommendations

 

(1)       To have regard to the content of the report and presentation.

 

(2-6)    To ensure that Reshaping Services has the greatest opportunity for success.

 

 

425     VALE VOLUNTEER BUREAU (VVB) ANNUAL REVIEW 2013-14 (VS) -

 

The Committee received a report from the Vale Volunteer Bureau (VVB) which outlined the achievements of the VVB from April 2013 to March 2014.

 

The VVB provided a one-stop resource for information, advice and guidance on all aspects of volunteering for both volunteers and recruiting organisations.  Their aim was to link the skills, experiences, time and enthusiasm of local people looking to volunteer with organisations seeking to develop their services.

 

The VVB operated from shop fronted premises on Holton Road, Barry and Boverton Road, Llantwit Major.  At both these locations recruiting organisations and members of the public could drop in and obtain information, advice and guidance from staff on all aspects of volunteering.

 

In 2012 the VVB changed its structure to become a charitable company limited by guarantee, and was managed by a Board of Trustees. During this reporting period the VVB employed a total of six members of staff (4 from core and 2 project staff). Their work was further supported by six volunteers.

 

The organisation worked within the national core services framework which was based on the Welsh Government’s Partnership Agreement.  In 2009 the VVB was awarded with Investing in Volunteers which was the UK quality standard for all organisations that involved volunteers in their work.  This was renewed in 2013.

 

An audit of voluntary activity was firstly undertaken by the VVB in 2000 where the monetary value of volunteering was calculated to be £8,207,136.  During 2013/14 a figure of £46,470,000 was calculated as the monetary value of voluntary activity in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Within each Unitary Authority area in Wales there was a volunteer bureau service which was provided by County Voluntary Councils or Independent Volunteer Bureau.

 

Through the Volunteering Wales website www.volunteering-wales.net staff responded to 1,086 enquires from potential volunteers.  A total of 667 potential volunteers were interviewed by staff, of which 359 were placed, a 54% conversion rate; which had since increased to 372, a 56% conversion rate. The VVB recruited for 218 organisations which had a wide range of volunteering opportunities available to potential volunteers.

 

This year VVB received additional project funding from the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Voluntary Action Scheme to run a supported volunteering project. This project supported unemployed and / or economically inactive people aged 25+ who resided in the Vale of Glamorgan to identify suitable volunteering placements that met their requirements.  Volunteers would also have an opportunity to gain an Agored Cymru accreditation in Volunteering and Community Participation. Due to the demand for this project the VVB had been working with their equivalent in Cardiff, VCS and CAVAMH to develop a regional project that would further support people with mental health needs to engage fully in volunteering, whilst offering recruiting organisations the skills and knowledge to work appropriately with this client group.

 

During this financial year the VVB with funding from GwirVol and BIG Lottery grant was able to continue, on a full time basis, the work that was done with young people.  In order to further promote volunteering to young people, the VVB ran a youth led grants panel called 'Dish out Dosh.'  This group of young people was recruited and trained to administer a grant of £10,000.  A total of six youth led projects all based in the Vale of Glamorgan were funded.  These Included:

  • Wick Junior Youth Club 
  • Studio 41 Band Night
  • Cadoxton Youth Project
  • Amelia Trust Farm
  • Penarth & District Scouts
  • Major Music
  • Barry Air Training Corps.

The Committee was informed that the 'Dish out Dosh’ panel had been recruiting and promoting the scheme and would shortly be making a decision on the allocation of this year’s funding, with a presentation taking place at their Annual General Meeting in October 2014.

 

Despite their best efforts to replace one of the grants that came to an end in March 2014, the VVB had been unable to retain the Youth Volunteering Advisor on full time hours, however some additional funding had been secured, and this post was now 23 hours.

 

The VVB was the local co-ordinating partner for the Millennium Volunteering Programme (MVP) that recognised the achievements of young people aged 14-25. During this year, 118 young people registered onto this programme with 49 certificates for 50 hours, 37 certificates for 100 hours and 16 certificates for 200 hours volunteering issued.  In addition to the MVP the VVB was also able to offer young people further recognition of their volunteering via the Agored Cymru accreditation in Volunteering and Community Involvement.  This was offered at Level 1-3 and was funded through the BIG and the 14-19 annual development plan.  A total of 27 learners achieved their accreditation in 2013/14.

 

On the VVB’s website, www.vvb.org.uk there was an array of information for both volunteers and recruiting organisations.  Potential volunteers could have access to information on volunteering opportunities 24/7, register online, note when the next outreach session was taking place, register as a Millennium Volunteer and see what the latest top 10 volunteering opportunities were.  There was also a specific section on young people and volunteering. 

 

For recruiting organisations there were downloadable newsletters, information on how to apply for funding from the Dish out Dosh Grants Panel and the MVP, help and support on how to gain Investors in Volunteering status as well as a wealth of advice from the free information sheets.

 

The VVB had increased their presence in the wider Vale and now had shop fronted premises in Llantwit Major.  This was an initial 3 month pilot and had been launched as part of Volunteer’s Week.  Due to the demand for their service and an additional grant they were able to secure the premises until the end of the financial year. During this year the VVB had also negotiated with Adult Community Learning to share these premises in 2014/15 in order to attract new learners and those furthest away from the labour market. The partnership with Adult Community Learning was working well where the VVB had been working with them to promote their 'get back on track' courses to volunteers that the VVB interviewed, but also to put together some of the contents for their preparing for the workplace course, which would provide learners with the soft skills they needed whether they were volunteering or in the workplace. As part of VVB’s interview they were able to suggest to volunteers, courses that would further compliment their volunteering and help to promote courses to first time learners.

 

Another success of outreach had been the continuation of their work with Penarth Job Centre Plus.  To ensure diversity when recruiting volunteers the VVB had targeted those who were retired or approaching retirement by linking in with the Vale 50+ Strategic Forum as well as holding regular presentations for Cardiff and Vale Pre-Retirement Society.  There had also been a focus on encouraging those who had experienced mental health issues to engage in volunteering where they were now able to offer support through the supported volunteering project.

 

VVB’s volunteers were an essential part of the organisation, and they support the VVB by complementing the role of paid staff and bringing added value and expertise to the organisation.  In doing this the VVB ensured that they have quality opportunities where the volunteers were able to utilise existing and develop new skills as well as having personal development opportunities.

 

As part of the other celebrations for Volunteers Weeks VVB had the annual appreciate event on Kings Square with a range of free activities for all the family. This event was well supported by Third Sector Organisations and volunteers giving their time and skills to make the event a huge success.

 

The Committee was further informed that a consultation event to mark World Mental Health Day on Friday 10th October was taking place where people who had mental health needs had been asked to participate and feedback ways in which VVB’s proposed supported volunteering project might be able to assist with heightening self-confidence, addressing isolation and potentially developing pathways into employment. 

 

In order to further promote volunteering the Council posted the latest top 10 volunteering opportunities on their website on a monthly basis.  During this reporting period VVB was also given some additional resources in the way of a portable banner and leaflet stand which was used to promote their service at various locations including community centres, Doctors’ surgeries, libraries, hospitals, and the Civic Offices.

 

Work also continued with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) to merge and create a new organisation that would aim to preserve the quality services currently offered to volunteers, Third Sector organisations and partners.

 

The Committee was informed that the VVB would be celebrating the achievements and successes of the VVB and the VCVS and holding their AGM in the Memorial Hall, Barry on the 9th October and hoped that Committee Members would be able to attend.

 

Following the presentation of the report, a Member stated that it was good to hear about volunteering in the Vale of Glamorgan and asked when the Llantwit Major Project Shop would be coming to an end.  In response, Ms. Steere informed the Committee that the VVB had negotiated with Adult Community Learning in order to share the premises and currently had a lease until March 2015.  The Member further expressed concern with regard to projects that were unable to succeed without support; however it highlighted the challenges involved with delivering volunteering opportunities for individuals, for example the World Mental Health Day event.

 

Ms. Steere informed the Committee that the work they were carrying out with young people continued to increase year on year and despite their best efforts, they were unable to retain the Youth Volunteering Advisor on a full-time basis, however, some additional funding had been secured and this post was now part-time and hoped that the majority of youth work they were involved with would continue.

 

Following receipt of the report it was

 

AGREED - T H A T the contents of the Vale Volunteer Bureau (VVB) Annual Review - 2013/14 be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To have regard to the content of the report as required within the terms of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Vale Volunteer Bureau Deed of Grant. 

 

 

426     VALE YOUTH FORUM END OF PROJECT REPORT (VS) -

 

The Committee received a report which contained information on the work of the Vale Youth Forum ('the Forum') funded via the Vale Voluntary Action Scheme (VAS). 

 

The Committee was informed that 2013/14 had been the third and final year of VAS funding for the Forum.  The aim over the three years had been to develop the Forum into a more sustainable and established organisation of young people that represented their communities both in and out of school and to develop a Vale Youth Council, democratically elected to debate, influence and scrutinise issues which directly affected young people within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) was pleased to report that this goal had been successfully achieved.  Within the report presented to the Committee were the statistics for the Forum and also illustrated the work that the Forum had carried out in reaching new members from across the Vale of Glamorgan, from areas ranging from Colwinston and Wick through Barry, Dinas Powys and Penarth and involving young people from local schools, Youth Service provision, Community First provision and Third Sector youth provision.  The work with youth provision included organisations such as Young Carers, Penarth Youth Projects Disability Teen Scheme and United Youth Club for young people with Asperger Syndrome and Higher Functioning Autism and Vale People First. 

 

The report detailed the following information:

  • The Forum had met 25 times since October, 2013 and had 51 new members
  • All Forum members were signed up to the Millennium Volunteer or Star Volunteer Awards and certificates for their volunteer hours would be awarded to the young people at their AGM in November.
  • The Forum had held two Forum Recruitment Events outside of Schools for Youth Provisions and Voluntary Agencies and two Meet and Greet Events with the new members
  • The Forum had undertaken 15 Training Workshops, including two Saturday training days
  • The Forum included members from:

Voluntary Youth Provisions including:

 

-               Young Carers

-               Vale People First

-               Penarth Youth Project United Youth Club

-               Penarth Youth Project Disability Teen Scheme

-               Action for Children

-               Wick Youth Club

-               Army Cadets

 

Vale of Glamorgan Schools including:

 

-               Cowbridge Comprehensive

-               Ashgrove School

-               Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg

-               St. Richard Gwyn R/C School

-               Stanwell Comprehensive

-               Barry Comprehensive

-               Bryn Hafren Comprehensive

 

Vale Youth Service Provisions

 

-               The Hub Youth Provision

-               Young Inspectors

 

  • Recruited the first Youth Councillors and delivered the first Youth Cabinet in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Forum also had 'independent' young members, who had not been voted directly from an organisation, but who felt their input for their area would be beneficial to their area / community.

 

The Committee was informed that it had been a busy and hugely successful year for the Forum members. In addition to their recruitment and training and the work of the Forum, it had been nominated at the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Awards in the Participation Category and was Highly Commended.

 

Candy Srinivas had won the WCVA Young Volunteer of the Year, in part for her

voluntary role as a member of the Forum and as Vice Chair of the Forum.

 

All of the work undertaken by the Forum was underpinned by the National Children and Young People’s Participation Kite Mark for Wales Award which had been achieved in 2012.  The Committee was also informed that four Forum members represented the Forum on the Welsh Assembly Government’s Funky Dragon Grand Council.

 

Work had continued to raise the profile of the Forum and 15 articles had been produced for the Vale of Glamorgan 'Swoosh' website and 12 articles had been printed in the local Vale of Glamorgan papers including the Barry and District, Penarth Times and The Gem.

 

Ms. Connor, Executive Director of the VCVS, stated that the Forum had achieved what they had set out to and the Youth Forum Co-ordinator post had been hosted by the VCVS and helped to access Voluntary Action Scheme funding. 

 

Following the presentation of the report a Member extended congratulations to the Forum on their excellent successes including the Vale Youth Cabinet and asked what the future held with regard to the end of the funding for the project.  In response Ms. Connor informed the Committee that they had been unsuccessful in bidding for funding from People and Places, however advised that they could relook at their bid or participate with the Consortium Development Project with a view to securing funding.  She further informed the Committee that there were a variety of opportunities with regards to funding bids; however as they no longer had a paid employee it would be a lot to ask volunteers to complete a strategy for fundraising. 

 

The Children and Young People’s Partnership Manager, stated that the Youth Service had also released an officer to work with the Youth Cabinet and that this funding would continue until March 2015 or possibly until June/July 2015, however, they would need to approach the Trustees with regards to a way forward.  He further stated that funding streams had changed and that the Youth Service may need to pick up this work area, however, they would continue to struggle. 

 

Following the presentation of the report it was

 

AGREED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Committee noted the content of the report.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be recommended to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To have regard to the content of the report.

 

(2)       To apprise Cabinet of the work of the Vale Youth Forum.

 

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