October 2015 Compact Voice Round-Up

We’ve scanned all the latest news for voluntary organisations involved in cross-sector partnership working and public service delivery and distilled it into a bite-sized blog. If you have any thoughts or questions about the issues covered (or if we’ve missed something!), leave a comment below or tweet us @CompactVoice.

Survey of local Compacts –deadline extended

Due to popular demand we’ve decided to extend the deadline for our annual survey to Friday 30 October, to allow more of you to have your voice heard. The survey’s important for us in highlighting key issues and challenges for the sector to government, but also for helping us target our support to those areas most in need. So if you haven’t managed to have your say yet, please do get involved.
You can take the survey here. It’s mostly multiple choice questions so only takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Each completed entry will go into the draw to win a £100 John Lewis Voucher.

Compact Week 2015

Compact Week, the annual celebration of partnership working between the voluntary sector and government, is taking place from 2-6 November. This year’s theme is "Working together in a new commissioning landscape". Our Compact Week page provides some useful tips on what you can do to get involved and our website has a wide selection of resources to help you on your way. We’ll be promoting all your activities and events via our Twitter account in the coming weeks using the #compactweek2015 hashtag. If you’re planning any events or activities, or would like some Compact Voice promotional materials, get in touch.

Compact Voice speakers

If you would like to book a speaker from Compact Voice for your forthcoming event, please contact Steve Smith, our Engagement and Policy Officer. We are available to give presentations on engaging with new commissioning bodies and other Compact-related topics.

HMRC grant funding

HMRC have announced grant funding of £1.5million over three years (2016 – 2019) for voluntary and community sector organisations to provide assistance to people in understanding and complying with their tax obligations. You can apply or find out more here. The closing date for applications is 8 November 2015.

Freedom of Information

The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information has released a call for evidence which could make sweeping changes to the Freedom of Information Act. You can read the call for evidence here. The Commission has been set up to examine whether or not the Act provides a ‘safe space’ for frank discussions and policy development, and whether or not the Act places too big a burden on public authorities.
NCVO will be responding to the Commission and is keen to find out how these potential changes could impact voluntary sector organisations. You can read more about the Commission’s call for evidence and share your experiences and views here.

Camden Council announces seven year core funding for voluntary organisations

Camden Council are now consulting on their future investment in the voluntary and community sector. You can read the consultation paper and respond here. The consultation runs until 4 November 2015. From December 2016, they are proposing to award seven year contracts to local voluntary and community sector organisations working in areas of need, such as tackling deprivation and inequality. There is more detail in The Guardian here.

Consultation on Hertfordshire Compact

A consultation on the refreshed Hertfordshire Compact is open until Friday 15 January 2016. Hertfordshire County Council are seeking the views of all voluntary and community groups, statutory organisations and other stakeholders in Hertfordshire on a draft Compact. You can contribute to the consultation here.

Review of the Merlin standard

A review of the Merlin Standard produced by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion has been published and you can read it here.
The Merlin Standard sets out how prime contractors should work with their supply chains, and most DWP contracted employment prime contractors have been required to attain this standard since it was introduced in 2012.

Briefings on devolution

The transfer of power from central to local government is an ongoing issue that will likely continue to have a significant impact on the way the voluntary and community sector engages with public bodies. The House of Commons Library has produced briefing papers summarising the political developments on the devolution of powers to local government and combined authorities, a legal structure empowering two or more local authorities to take on transport and economic development functions.
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