- Big Issue – sellers smarten up
- RUDE AID – raising the profile and understanding of HIV/AIDS
- “Red tape” and equalities
- London Councils Grant programme
- Voluntary Sector cuts
- LVSC is running the third round of its Big Squeeze survey
- Big Society and Sustainable Communities Act
- On the Radar: LVSC's new VCS public health database
- Mayor of London
- Law Commission Proposals for Social Care
- Your views wanted on consultation on statutory guidance on VCS funding cuts and repealing the duty to involve
- New Survey to map the impact of cuts in London
- Consultation on statutory guidance on cuts to the voluntary sector
- Consultation on planning for traveller sites
- Justice for All
- No health without mental health: a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages
- Health & Social Care Bill – first reading 19th January 2011
- Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Transparency in Outcomes Proposals for a Public Health Outcomes Framework
- Commissioning Green Paper
National news back catalogueback to top
Giving White Paper
You will recall that earlier in the year the government consulted on the Giving green paper which was covered in a previous e-news. A green paper is a government consultation with ideas it is considering creating new laws on. This is part of the government’s wider Big Society agenda in decreasing the role of the state and increasing the role of communities and individuals. Part of this includes a desire to see more people giving to charities and good causes - financially and in time. The government has now published a white paper – normally this is the basis of planned legislation. However it is difficult to legislate for people to choose to give more so there are two foci - specific funds to set up structures and proposals for institutions to make it easier for people to give time and money.
Some new funding arrangements:
£80m: Community First: Predominantly match-funded investment under way for deprived areas, consisting of:
- £30m: Neighbourhood Match Fund Programme for community-led projects
- £50m: Endowment Match Challenge to build up local grant-giving endowment funds
£40m in volunteering and social action: New programme will run for two years and then be reviewed. It will consist of:
- £10m Social Action Fund - Projects funded will include: self-managed volunteering pilots. Proposals for building participation Schools-based giving programmes. Post-National Citizen Service activities.Using opportunity from 2012 Games. Training volunteer managers. Supporting ex-civil servants to volunteer.
- £30m local infrastructure fund – To be delivered by the Big Lottery Fund.
- £1m Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund
- £400,000 from government and Nesta to trial Spice in England
- Challenge Prizes for volunteering schemes
- £1m for volunteering website Do-it from Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health.
- £700,000 over next three years for Philanthropy UK
- £20,000 bursary for 500 senior community organisers in the first year
- Near Neighbours: £5m over three years – Department for Communities and Local Government with the Church of England
- What are the other proposals?
- Giving through cash machines – prompts to donate when you take cash
- Round pound initiatives – donating loose change in shops
- Giving Summit in the Autumn
- Round Table led by New Philanthropy Capital with private banks
- Removing red tape- this relates more to giving time than money and include suggestions on reviewing CRB check process
- Business Connectors and a campaign to promote take up of payroll giving – part of Every Business Commits
- Further tax relief for giving art to the nation, extending existing allowance made on inheritance tax for gifts of art after death, to reductions in other taxes in return for lifetime donations
- Further rewarding giving through the honours system
- Day of volunteering by all ministers - not the same day! They will choose who they wish to support
- More volunteering by civil servants and encouraging those retiring or being made redundant to volunteer
- Work on impact reporting- looking at ways to make it easier for organisations to demonstrate their impact. It seems very likely that those who cannot demonstrate impact will not befit form the white paper proposals
- More government data on giving
- Letting charities use government buildings - it’s not clear if this is rent free
- Using government websites for donations
Big Issue sellers are soon to be equipped with smart phones and encouraged to blog, use social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, and to capture and upload images and audio.
John Bird, Big Issue’s founder made the announcement as the BBC announced that all its journalists would shortly be equipped with iPhones to aid them in newsgathering. Read more on the Big Issue website.
RUDE AID is the being undertaken by The Rude Foundation to raise the profile and provide a contemporary understanding of HIV/AIDS.
The project comprises three elements:
- the Rude Aid Festival utilising The O2 London’s venues (supported by AEG)
- a television documentary
- and the publication of two books
A PR, marketing and new media campaign is in place to coordinate promotion of these entities and contribute to a wider knowledge of HIV/AIDS today.
For more information for print and display purposes, access www.rudeaid.com
As part of the red tape challenge, the Government is seeking views on the new Equality Act, including complete repeal or keeping the Act as it is. The following is repeated from the red tape challenge website:
“Equality regulations are designed to help ensure fairness in the workplace and in wider society. They include regulations and laws on discrimination and harassment. You can find the Equality Act 2010 here
“Tell us what you think should happen to this Act and why, being specific where possible:
- Should they be scrapped altogether?
- Can they be merged with existing regulations?
- Can we simplify them – or reduce the bureaucracy associated with them?
- Do you have any ideas to make these regulations better?
- Do you think they should be left as they are?”
You can follow this link to give your views. LVSC has some interesting comment in their latest policy newsletter – specifically that the Equality Act is the only “primary” legislation (that is debated and amended in Parliament) so far considered. All others have been secondary legislation regulations made by civil servants and approved by ministers.
London Councils has now decided its grants budget. The budget has increased to £20.7m. This is smaller than previous years, but an increase of £3m on what was originally consulted on. They had already made a decision for £26m of the former budget to be repatriated to boroughs – but they do not have to ring fence this for grants to voluntary organisations. Follow this link to a list of “category A* projects which will continue to be funded by London Councils - Grants categories - May 2011 (XLS, 82Kb) Other categories in some cases will continue to receive funding until the end of their contract period.
This action follows the supplementary consultation that London Councils had to undertake following the successful judicial review of the process. So what was the judicial review about?
The following is reproduced from London Council’s website:
“What was the basis for the judicial review, and what was the outcome?
The decisions of the 14 December 2010 Leaders’ Committee were challenged on two broad bases:
- that the consultation process leading up to those decisions was flawed in a number of ways
- that the decisions did not give ‘due regard’ to equalities objectives, as required by London Councils’ statutory equalities duties
“The Judge ….found that the major problem was that consideration during the review of the Scheme was given primarily to the 69 service heads rather than the 360 individual service commissions under the scheme and that London Councils had not had a sufficiently open mind with regard to the appropriateness of the service head approach.
“In his view, that approach had prevented London Councils from having due regard to equalities objectives … This flaw was not sufficient to invalidate the consultation, but was sufficient for the Judge to uphold the challenge on grounds of failure to comply with statutory equalities duties. The Judge proceeded to quash the Leaders’ Committee decisions on:
- Categorisation of services for funding purposes
- Timing of changes to the scheme
- Transitional arrangements
- The principles and priorities to be applicable to the scheme in the future”
The original consultation was based on four categories:
- Category A*: commissions that meet the principles for a Pan-London programme and which address one or more of the priority areas.
- Category A: commissions that meet the principles for a Pan-London programme, but which do not meet the agreed priorities for the programme
- Category B: commissions that are essentially local in nature but are more suited to sub-regional decision-making and delivery
- Category C: commissions that are local in nature and capable of local determination and priority setting.
Category A* would then form the basis of the future programme in the long term.
The supplementary consultation re-categorised some organisations - View the consultation structure spreadsheet, including the list of all commissions
A new website encouraging local groups throughout the country to record cuts to their funding through a simple online. If you want to take part, go to the Voluntary Sector Cuts website.back to top
LVSC’s third ‘Big Squeeze’ survey aims to look at the effect of the recession and public spending cuts on London’s voluntary and community sector groups and the people who use its services. Please take a few minutes to fill in the survey, which will let policymakers and funders in the capital know how the current economic situation is affecting Londoners”.
The deadline for replies is 31st May 2011. Go to ‘Big Squeeze’ survey. LVSC also says the TUC has produced a useful summary of the cuts in London. LVSC is currently developing a working document, which aims to provide a similar overview of cuts to the voluntary and community sector in London – both regionally, by borough and by sub-sector.back to top
The Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) has launched a consultation on how it can create regulations under the Sustainable Communities Act to further the Big Society. You can see more at the DCLG website where you can download the consultation and respond by email . The consultation closes on 20th June.
This is part of the government’s wider campaign of “Barrier Busting” where they want to tell local councils how to deliver the Big Society. See the DCLG “Barrier Busting” websiteback to top
LVSC’s pilot project, On the Radar, aims to lead to a searchable database of voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations that provide public health services in London. It aims to support public health commissioners' knowledge of the voluntary and community sector in London.
The project will also enable London’s public health commissioners to identify gaps in services and new development opportunities for VCS organisations. Those in the VCS can use the database to raise their profile with commissioners, research possible partner organisations in their area or to find out more about public health services delivered by London’s voluntary and community organisations.
LVSC is continuing to build on this work and encourage VCS organisations that provide public health services in London to complete a questionnaire of criteria for inclusion in the database. You can download a copy of the questionnaire or if you would like to know more details, please e-mail email@example.com. It is expected that the database will be launched in July.
In the meantime, don’t forget that CLB’s Directory of over 2,500 organisations working or delivering services to the borough is available online now.back to top
There are some useful articles in LVSC’s latest policy bulletin on:
The Law Commission is a group of lawyers and experts, which analyses and recommends to government how the law can be simplified and made coherent. They decide on a range of topics to examine each year and this year they consider the law concerning adult social care – and they have now produced their final report.
The Commission recommends a “single, clear, modern statute and code of practice” which they think will help create a coherent social care system. They intend that older people, disabled people, those with mental health problems and carers will be clear about their legal rights to care and support services. Local councils across England and Wales will have clear and concise rules to govern when they must provide services.
Included in the Commission’s recommendations are:
- putting the individual’s wellbeing at the heart of decision-making, using new statutory principles
- giving carers new legal rights to services
- placing duties on councils and the NHS to work together
- building a single, streamlined assessment and eligibility framework
- protecting service users from abuse and neglect with a new legal framework
- and for the first time, giving adult safeguarding boards a statutory footing
Most of these (except safeguarding) already exist in some form – but are contained in a wide range of different legislation enacted over a period of 60 years. The Final Report, a summary of the report, and an easy read version are available on the Law Commission website (www.justice.gov.uk/lawcommission/adult-social-care.htm).back to top
Your views wanted on consultation on statutory guidance on VCS funding cuts and repealing the duty to involve
The Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) has launched a consultation on ‘Best Value’ statutory guidance.
This proposes a single page of guidance on how councils should work with voluntary and community groups when facing difficult funding decisions -particularly cuts. There is a re-statement of two themes - “Best Value” includes social value – which allows for wider than price competition and that authorities will consult widely. There is a commitment to the Compact and that authorities should give three months’ notice of ending funding.
However, the preamble to the guidance also says that the government intends to abolish the current “duty to involve”. (See the CLB website for a brief note on Local Authorities - Duty to Involve.) Currently local authorities have a legal duty to involve a wide range of people and community groups in their decision-making. This implies a much higher level of engagement than consultation and councils will not be legally obliged to do so - merely have guidance that they should. This is part of a wider repeal of regulation for local authorities involving the abolition of the whole of the guidance – “Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities” on how councils work with communities and other public bodies. They are also no longer be required to produce a Sustainable Communities Strategy – “Building a Better Bromley” being the local example – which offered voluntary and community groups influence in shaping services and community development.
You can respond online and the deadline for responses is 14th June.
Community Links Bromley is intending to submit a response to the consultation – if you have any comments please send them to Stephen Blann at Community Links Bromley by 3rd June.
For a non-London perspective, which might also give you some ideas for your response, Richard Caulfield, Voluntary Sector North West, has written a blog on the consultation.
The Department of Communities and Local Government is consulting on statutory guidance for public bodies on cuts to the voluntary sector. It applies to all “best Value” authorities – all councils, fire and police authorities and Transport for London. The consultation runs until June 14th – this is shorter than Compact standard. Go to the DCLG website to respond. The proposed guidance is very short - less than one side of A4 and the key points are:
- Social value needs to be taken into account in deciding best value
- Consult with a wide variety of people including businesses and voluntary and community organisations
- Councils should be sensitive to needs of voluntary organisations and not make disproportionate cuts to them
- Give at least three months notice of cuts that threaten viability of organisation
- Make provision for the organisations or others to put forward options to change the service
The current government wants to see changes in provision for travellers. It says that current arrangements do not work, specifically it says, “There is a widespread perception that the system is unfair and that it is easier for one group of people to gain planning permission”. The government has produced a consultation document on planning issues in relation to traveller sites. It wants to give councils more freedom in planning for traveller sites.
You can download the consultation at the DCLG website. The deadline for response is the 6th July.back to top
Justice for All is a new campaign concerned at the Government’s proposals to reduce and in some areas of law, remove Legal Aid. This will particularly be the case in areas of “social welfare law” that voluntary organisations are more concerned. The Ministry of Justice’s impact assessment showed on average voluntary organisations could lose 77% of their legal aid income against 25% for private firms. Find out more at www.justice-for-all.org.uk.back to top
No health without mental health: a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages
The Department of Health has published a new mental health strategy called ‘No Health without Mental Health’ that replaces the previous strategy – ‘New Horizons: a shared vision for mental health’ only produced last year. As with much of the new Government’s approach to health, the strategy is focussed on outcomes. There are 6 objectives:
- More people will have good mental health
- More people with mental health problems will recover
- More people with mental health problems will have good physical health
- More people will have a positive experience of care and support
- Fewer people will suffer avoidable harm
- Fewer people will experience stigma and discrimination
Each of the chapters looks at potential outcomes for different people and agencies - government, providers, patients, communities and equalities.
The strategy has a number of supporting documents. The most important of these is probably: Delivering better mental health outcomes for people of all ages – this looks at each of the six objectives.
- Objective one has the same life stages as for the recent Public Health White Paper (see last e-news) – starting well, developing well, living well, working well and ageing well.
- Objective two looks at prevention and early intervention
- Objective three and four look at specific services and age groups
- Objective five looks at both harm suffered by people with mental health condition and caused buy them, and also safeguarding.
The other supporting documents are
- The economic case for improving efficiency and quality in mental health
- Talking therapies: a four year plan of action
- Expand talking therapies services in line with the mental health strategy - impact assessment
There is also a leaflet for providers, community and others to act as a “call to action”.back to top
The Health and Social Care Bill – putting the proposals in last year’s NHS white paper into law – was introduced into parliament on the 19th January. It will take some time to complete all the parliamentary stages before it is law. The bill is enormous – 367 pages long with 13 pages of contents covering:
- 281 clauses – the actual ‘law’
- 22 schedules the details and regulations need to make it work.
Click here to read Stephen Blann’s notes on each part and schedule in brackets to distinguish it from the tiles of each part / schedule and any explanatory notes in the Bill.
The Bill itself can be downloaded at the UK Parliament website http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/healthandsocialcare.htmlback to top
Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Transparency in Outcomes Proposals for a Public Health Outcomes Framework
The Department of Health published a public health white paper in the autumn and as with the NHS white paper. It is also consulting on an outcomes framework for public health. You can download a copy of the consultation from the Department of Health website as well as respond online.
As with the NHS white paper Outcomes Framework there are five ‘domains’ of broad aspirations each with a series of proposed indicators – these are the proposed domains for public health:
Domain 1: Health protection and resilience
Domain 2 Tackling the wider determinants of health
Domain 3: Health improvement
Domain 4: Prevention of ill health
Domain 5: Healthy life expectancy and preventable mortality
You can read briefing by Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer, on CLB’s website.
The deadline for comments is the 31 March 2011.back to top
Alongside the public health white paper – Healthy Lives, Healthy People, the Government has just published a consultation on how the new public health service will be funded.
Public health services will be funded by a new public health budget, separate from the budget managed through the NHS Commissioning Board for Healthcare, to ensure that investment in public health is ring-fenced. Public Health England will fund public health activity three ways:
- allocating funding to local authorities;
- commissioning services via the NHS Commissioning Board; or
- commissioning or providing services itself.
You can read a briefing by Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer, on the CLB website.
The consultation closes on 31st March 2011.back to top
The Government conducted a very short consultation – a month either side of Christmas – on proposals to change public sector commissioning. The aim is to increase the role of the voluntary sector and asocial enterprise in public service delivery. A number of organisations submitted formal responses. The thrust of these was that whilst government may want to open up local services for delivery by voluntary organisations, it should be for communities and organisations to decide if it is appropriate for them. There is concern about what “payment by results” really means – who is defining the results? Follow the links to download the NCVO response and the NAVCA response. You can also read the green paper itself on the Cabinet Office websiteback to top