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VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 22nd October, 2013.

 

Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman); Councillors Ms. R. Birch, G.A. Cox, Ms. K. Edmunds, C.P.J. Elmore, Dr. I.J. Johnson, R.A. Penrose and E. Williams.

 

Representatives from the Voluntary Sector: Ms. T. Burris (Age Concern) and Mr. C.F. Curtis (Vale Centre for Voluntary Services). 

 

 

            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors C.P. Franks and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, and Ms. L. Donovan (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board), Ms. Abigail Harris (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) and Ms. A. Steere (Vale Volunteer Bureau).

 

 

            APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN –

 

AGREED – T H A T Councillor E. Williams be appointed Vice-Chairman for the current municipal year.

 

 

            MINUTES – 

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 10th July, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

           

            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – 

 

No declarations of interest were received.

 

 

            ADULT CARERS’ SUPPORT AND SERVICES CONSULTATION IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (DSS) –

 

The Committee received a report which advised of progress on the Adult Carers’ Support and Services Consultation. 

 

A survey had been carried out at the beginning of 2013 to ascertain views on the current provision and future delivery of carers’ services.  The survey was part of an ongoing series of activities to monitor and review the provision of services.

 

The consultation sought to gather views on: Respite and Carers’ Breaks, Information, Advice and Advocacy, ideas for Alternative Carers’ Services, and experience of carers’ assessment.

 

Responses were received from 53 individual carers, one professional working with carers, and seven organisations (including one from the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services representing some of their members).

 

The Summary of Responses and Key Findings for the consultation exercise was published in August 2013 and was available on the Vale of Glamorgan Website for the purpose of feedback  to respondents and other interested parties.  A copy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

It was reported that the findings of the consultation and the wider review of carers services may result in changes to the commissioning arrangements and services developed to realign services with current needs and levels of demand. 

 

Previously, Carers Specific Welsh Government Grant Funding sought to develop services and support at a time when the needs of carers were treated as secondary to the needs of the person cared for.  Subsequent legislation, a developing awareness of the proven benefits of supporting carers and the market growth in the number of carers in the population had seen a significant growth in the mainstreaming and inclusion of carers in service considerations, both in health and social care.  The provision of funding to facilitate the development of traditional carers services had therefore reduced.

 

However, with the growing impetus to enable carers to maintain a life of their own outside caring and the increasingly complex needs of those to whom care was provided, there was a need to encourage innovations and greater flexibility in service delivery in order to support carers in their vital role.  Without this help, the health and wellbeing of the carer became less sustainable and in turn increased the demand on health and social care services. 

 

Members agreed that the report contained many interesting points and as a result, questions were asked about how the Council advertised the services available to carers and there was the support for the provision of a 'One Stop Shop'.

 

Members were of the view that the Council will be facing a challenging budget which could result in cuts in the provision of respite care.  Given the comments of the consultees the question was asked how can we do more with less. 

 

In response, the Committee were advised that one key method was through the communication of information, which was achievable through existing resources. 

 

The carer's budget had not been protected, but the budget had been managed without affecting services. 

 

The results of the consultation may affect the decisions that will have to be made, but the first priority would be to make changes which did not affect the level of service provision.

 

It was envisaged that the provision of a 'One Stop Shop' would be a virtual one, a view that was supported by the number of responses to the survey received on-line via the Council's website. 

 

Members enquired as to how the availability of the services was advertised, and Members were advised that officers were always considering ways of getting the message across.

 

Following consideration of the report, it was

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H AT Committee endorse the content of the report.

 

(2)       T H A T the consultation work undertaken to inform the development of services and support for carers be endorsed.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure that Committee Members maintain oversight of the consultation.

 

 

            ECONOMIC VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING WITHIN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (VS) -

 

Committee received the annual report on the Economic Value of Volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

The audit of voluntary activity was firstly undertaken by the Vale Volunteer Bureau in 2000 where the monetary value of volunteering was calculated to be £8,207,136. 

 

Last year, a figure of £29,487,731 had been calculated as the average monetary value of voluntary activity in the Vale of Glamorgan, based on the National Statistics New Earnings Survey 2003, where a figure of £10.42 was recommended as the hourly rate for volunteering.

 

The exercise had been repeated by the Vale Volunteer Bureau at the beginning of 2013 and questionnaires had been sent to all recruiting organisations based in the Vale and registered with the Vale Volunteer Bureau.  Additional information that had been requested from recruiting organisations included the gender, age, employment status and ethnic category of the volunteers.  For the purposes of ascertaining the monetary value of volunteering, these averages were then applied to the 221 recruiting organisations registered with the Vale Volunteer Bureau and operating in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The information received from the returned questionnaires provided the average number of active volunteers per organisation, and the average number of hours worked by those volunteers each week.  A figure of £11.08 was then applied which, according to the 2011 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings was the average hourly rate.  This new rate had been applied as the rate for the National Statistics New Earnings Survey was no longer used. 

 

In comparison with the previous year, the amount had risen from £29,487,731 to £34,942,587.  This was an increase of £5,454,856.  A cheque for this amount had been presented to the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan Council at a presentation event at Cardiff and Vale College to recognise volunteering in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

This increase could be attributed to the rise in the number of volunteers recruited through the Bureau, outreach and young person's service.  During the year there had also been more of a focus on working with our partner organisations to raise the profile of volunteering.  There had also been a greater presence in the Western Vale and as such there was now a shop fronted premises in Llantwit Major to further promote the benefits of volunteering.  It was noted that this was an average figure and only provided a snap shot of the voluntary activity taking place in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The type of volunteering referred to in the report related to formal volunteering. 

 

The statistics taken from the questionnaires showed that of those who volunteer, 68% were women and 32% were men.  The most popular age group to volunteer were those aged 55-64, followed by those aged 16-24.  In relation to the employment status of volunteers, retired people were more likely to be involved, followed by students.  The majority of those volunteers regarded themselves as white/British followed by those who were white/Welsh. 

 

Members of the Committee felt the content of the report to be very informative, and in noting the calculated value of volunteering, discussions ensued as to how this equated to the number of volunteered hours and felt that it would be useful if a trend could be demonstrated. 

 

Members asked that this information be sought and provided to Cabinet and all other Members of the Council.

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted together and that the 53 fold return on the investment made through grant assistance be acknowledged. 

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet and all other Members of the Council for information, to include, if possible, real time figures showing the number of hours spent undertaking volunteer work. 

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To acknowledge the contribution that volunteers make to the Vale of Glamorgan and to provide an annual update on the Compact Action Plan.

 

(2)       To inform all Members of the Council.

 

 

            CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP TEAM NEWSLETTER -

 

The Committee received a copy of the Corporate Partnership Team Newsletter as produced by the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board, dated September 2013.

 

Members expressed the view that the newsletter was very useful. 

 

Points raised included:

 

·           a request for more information on the Welsh Out of School provision for the 2013-14 grant

·           in view of complaints having been received regarding needle discovery, including near school premises, a request for more information on the progress being made with the Needle Safety Project

·           a request for comparisons of how we are dealing with anti-social behaviour i.e. what period are we comparing the figures with.

 

It was agreed that this information be provided to the Member outside of the meeting.

 

AGREED - T H A T the contents of the Newsletter be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the contents of the Newsletter.

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