- Localism bill – update and call to action
- NHS Listening Exercise – share your views
- 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
- Localism Bill
- 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 catalogue
The consultations on the Community Right to Buy and the Community Right to Challenge have now closed. NAVCA has produced a briefing for MPs (and others who are interested) on changes it would like to see – and commitments not to lose. Read the briefing on the NAVCA website and more about the Localism Bill.
NAVCA is asking people to contact their MPs to ask them to support the changes at the report stage on 17th May (tomorrow)
Bromley’s MPs are:
- Jim Dowd, Lewisham West & Penge (L) House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Tel: 020 7219 4617; Fax: 020 7219 2686; email@example.com
- Jo Johnson, Orpington (C); House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 7125 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Neill, Bromley & Chislehurst (C) House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Tel: 020 7219 8471 Fax: 020 7219 8089 email@example.com (also a junior minister)
- Bob Stewart, Beckenham (C) House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 7011 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of Communities and Local Government held a number of consultation events on the “Community Rights” and the notes of the London event are on CLB's website. Emerging highlights from the meetings are:
- The “rights” are somewhat more limited than the government portrays them
- The “right to buy” may apply differently to public and private property
- Market value and planning law are crucial factors - owners will not be obliged to accept offers based on current use but the market value of potential use – which may be out of the reach of communities.
- The right to challenge is more likely to offer opportunities to large organisations and private companies, who will be more likely to win the procurement process resulting from a challenge.
Following public and professional objections to the government’s plans for the NHS, the government has famously announced a “listening exercise”. The “listening exercise” will end on the 31st May. You can find out more on the listening exercise section of Department of Health website which includes both an online form and a more detailed response form to download and return to email@example.com . You might also be interested in visiting the NHS Future Forum website . The NHS Future Forum is a group of clinicians, patient representatives’, voluntary sector representatives and others from the Health field that will oversee the NHS listening exercise.
NAVCA has produced a further briefing on key issues that it wishes to see address in the listening exercise. Read NAVCA's briefing. NAVCA will be making a formal response.
CLB and the VSRG are considering a further response to the Listening Exercise. If you have any comments please send them to Stephen Blann at Community Links Bromley, Community House, South Street, BR1 1RH by 23rd May.
You can also see the original response from the Voluntary Sector Reference Group and Community Links to the White Paper and linked consultations.
Read NAVCA’s earlier responses submitted to each of the four consultation documents on specific aspects of the Health White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.
- Increasing democratic legitimacy in health
- Commissioning for patients
- Regulating healthcare providers
- Transparency in outcomes
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.back to top
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London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and its partners have launched a third ‘Big Squeeze’ survey to study the impact of the recession and public spending cuts on the capital’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations and the Londoners they serve.
LVSC is encouraging all VCS organisations in London to take part in the survey and have a say on how the cuts are affecting their organisations and the crucial services they provide to Londoners. The survey includes questions about:
- how the economy and changes in policy are affecting your clients, demand on services and impacting on your organisation,
- the impact of funding cuts on Londoners and your organisation,
- Lessons learned from challenges faced and how that learning can be taken forward.
The partners for this year’s Big Squeeze survey are: London Funders; Greater London Volunteering; MiNet; Race on the Agenda (ROTA); HEAR; Women’s Resource Centre (WRC); London Civic Forum; LASA; Children England; City Bridge Trust; Stonewall Housing; London Community Resource Network and Ethical Property Foundation.
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The deadline to the complete the survey is Friday 27th May 2011. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been a lot of coverage of the Government’s localism agenda and new ‘community rights’ such as the ‘right to buy’ and ‘right to challenge’, but what do they mean?
You can read a briefing by Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer, Community Links Bromley. This also includes links to other briefings and further analysis.
Following on from the publication of the Localism Bill, the government began consultations on two key issues within the Bill –
You still have time to respond as the consultations close on 3rd May.
- You can download briefings on the right to buy from NAVCA and NCVO and the consultation itself Community Right to Buy - assets of community value
- You can download briefings on the right to challenge from NAVCA and NCVO and the consultation itself Community Right to Challenge.
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