posted on September 10, 2012 16:24
CROYDON VOLUNTARY SECTOR ALLIANCE MEETING
THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER (9.30 – 2.00) AT CVA RESOURCE CENTRE
Dear CVSA Member,
Following up on my last message, here’s an update on CVA’s negotiations with the Council on agreeing a Compact or voluntary & community sector (VCS) strategy statement that defines the relationship between the Council and the whole of Croydon’s VCS – from the biggest charity providers to the smallest neighbourhood groups. I reported last time that the target was to present a draft in the new year. Jon Rouse, the Council’s Chief Executive, has asked for this to be brought forward. Earlier in the week I emailed him to confirm the following:
I’ll report that there’s an intention to fast-track this, with a paper going to the CVSA meeting on 18.10 and then to the CEG on 21.11. At our 12.1 meeting I outlined my understanding of what it is that the Compact will deliver, i.e. a clear position statement that:
- captures the Council’s recognition of the central role that Croydon’s VCS has to play in the life of this borough; and
- clarifies the Council’s policies on supporting that role (these are contained within existing strategies – i.e. Stronger Communities; Commissioning/Social Impact Toolkit – or they’ve been articulated at LBC events – i.e. the Volunteering seminar earlier this year)
By pulling together LBC policies under one strategic position statement, the Compact will provide a coherent relationship-defining articulation of how the Council and the VCS aspire to work together. Compacts provide a set of principles that are used to keep relationships on track and, again, these have already been formed as part of the existing strategies. They can be adapted for the Compact in order to clarify what is expected from both partners to keep the relationship strong. The paper’s final purpose will be to identify the mechanism by which we ‘performance manage’ the Compact. The group with this responsibility will agree a set of metrics for use in measuring the Compact’s success – i.e. in maintaining and enhancing the ‘environment for a thriving third sector’ in Croydon.
My aim now is to have a draft paper with CVSA members by the end of the month, in advance of our meeting on 18th October. After having a chance to make your input (I’ll be particularly interested in hearing from you on what ‘metrics’ we should propose), you’ll be invited to sign up to an agreement stating that standards are expected – by each sector of the other – and that all parties will take responsibility for adhering to those standards.
We’re in a more competitive climate now – cuts and commissioning the two key drivers – but Croydon’s VCS has stuck together, as evidenced by the continuing strength of our networks and by the strong appetite for working together in partnership (i.e. as consortium members). The Compact provides us with another opportunity to demonstrate the unity of our sector, one that harbours great diversity but is bound together by the common experience of large and small groups in working closely with and on behalf of vulnerable communities. The Compact will show our willingness to work in partnership but also our determination to negotiate a fair deal for all groups, one that’s backed up by actions that translate words into deeds.
So, my aim is to work with you all over the next three months to produce a Compact that we can all get behind and see put into practice.
Croydon Voluntary Action
CVA Resource Centre
82 London Road,
Croydon CR0 2TB.