Agenda Item No 5
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee: 25th October 2017
Report of the Managing Director
Voluntary Sector Compact - Annual Work Plan Update
Purpose of the Report
- To provide the Committee with an update on the progress being made on the annual work plan associated with the Voluntary Sector Compact.
- That the Committee note the content of this report and the updates to the annual work plan.
- That the Committee continues to monitor progress against the actions contained in the work plan and advise of any additional actions required to progress the objectives of the Compact.
Reasons for the Recommendations
- To provide the Committee with an update on the work underway in relation to the Voluntary Sector Compact.
- To ensure the appropriate activity is undertaken to progress the themes contained in the Compact.
- In February 2017, the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee considered and endorsed a revised Compact between the Council and Voluntary Sector. The Compact can be found in Appendix A. Accompanying the Compact is an annual work plan which contains a series of actions that when progressed will enable the objectives of the Compact to be delivered.
- This report sets out the progress being made against the actions contained in the annual work plan which can be found in Appendix B.
Relevant Issues and Options
- The aim of the Compact is to provide a local framework within which the voluntary sector and council can work together in ways which are mutually beneficial, enabling each to contribute fully and effectively to delivering well-being for communities in the Vale of Glamorgan.
- The Compact is structured around four themes which are:
Communication, Consultation & Participation
Funding & Resources
- The annual work plan enables a series of actions to be undertaken by both the Voluntary Sector and the Council to progress the themes. Appendix B provides an update on these activities since July 2017.
- The Committee is recommended to review and note the content of the updates to the work plan, and advise of any additional actions that should be included to progress the Compact's aim and themes.
- The Wales Audit Office (WAO) published the Council's Annual Improvement Report (2016-17) in July 2017. Arising from a national study undertaken by WAO on Local Authority Funding of Third Sector Services (as referenced in the background papers to this report), the WAO has made two recommendations for all Local Authorities as follows:
R1: To get the best from funding decisions, local authorities and third sector bodies need to ensure they have the right arrangements and systems in place to support their work with the third sector. To assist local authorities and third sector bodies in developing their working practices, we recommend that local authority and third sector officers use the Checklist for local authorities effectively engaging and working with the third sector to:
- self-evaluate current third sector engagement, management, performance and practice;
- identify where improvements in joint working is required; and
- jointly draft and implement an action plan to address the gaps and weaknesses identified through the self-evaluation.
R2: Poor performance management arrangements are weakening accountability and limiting effective scrutiny of third sector activity and performance. To strengthen oversight of the third sector, we recommend that elected members scrutinise the review checklist completed by officers, and regularly challenge performance by officers and the local authority in addressing gaps and weaknesses.
- At a meeting of the Reshaping Services Town & Community Councils and Voluntary Sector Project Team, the group reviewed the checklist and identified the relevant colleagues from the Council and third sector who could complete this. It is proposed that the Committee agree that this project team coordinate the completion of the checklist for presentation to the Committee for review (in line with the second WAO recommendation) in due course. This report was referenced as part of work undertaken to refresh the Compact (Appendix A) earlier in the year. Any further activities arising from the review of the checklist would be included in the annual work plan to enable regular updates to be provided to the Committee and to provide a mechanism for the tracking and monitoring of these.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
- There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. However, the Compact sets out commitments relating to funding and resource (both financial and employment in the form of volunteering) issues. The work plan for 2017/18 includes reference to actions to monitor funding arrangements and to develop proposals for a Stronger Communities Fun to support the work of the third sector, town and community councils and community groups in the Vale of Glamorgan.
- Any proposals with specific resource implications will be considered by Committee and the Council's Cabinet as appropriate.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
- The Compact is consistent with the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015). As noted below, the Compact and working between the Council and Voluntary Sector contributes to the achievement of the Council's Well-being Objectives which contribute to the achievement of the national Well-being Goals. The Act also sets out five ways of working that public bodies should follow in progressing their work towards the sustainable development principle. The Compact is an example of partnership working, promoting the integration and collaboration between organisations in the pursuit of well-being.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- Any proposals with specific legal implications will be considered by Committee and the Council's Cabinet as appropriate.
Crime and Disorder Implications
- The Compact sets out how by working together, the Voluntary Sector and Council can promote issues relating to the well-being of residents and this could include tackling causes of crime and disorder.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
- The Compact between the Voluntary Sector and Council is a mechanism by which community working can be furthered with equalities being a major of influencer of activity in this area.
- The Compact contributes to the achievement of the Council's Corporate Plan and is consistent with the Council's vision, values and Well-Being Outcomes. Working with the voluntary sector is also an intrinsic part of the Council's transformational change programme, Reshaping Services.
Policy Framework and Budget
- This report is a matter for Executive decision by the Council's Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
- The Compact was reviewed in February 2017 by the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee which has representation from both the Voluntary Sector and the Council.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
- Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee.
Voluntary Sector Compact, Report of the Managing Director, Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee, 18th July 2017
Vale of Glamorgan Council, Annual Improvement Report (2016-17), Wales Audit Office
Wales Audit Office, Local Authority Funding of Third Sector Services, January 2017
Voluntary Sector Compact, Report of the Managing Director, Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee, 8th February 2017
Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development
Operational Manager, Policy and Performance
Rob Thomas, Managing Director