To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Community Services on the proposed decision to adopt KCC’s VCS Policy
(1) The Chairman said that this item would be considered first.
(2) Mr Hill (Cabinet Member for Community Services) introduced the report and said the adoption of a voluntary and community sector policy was important and timely especially as the authority was moving towards being a commissioning council. He said the workshops held as part of the consultation had been invaluable shaping the policy and urged the Committee to support the adoption of the policy.
(3) David Whittle (Director of Strategy, Policy, Relationships and Corporate Assurance) said that the community and voluntary sector welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Council through the consultation process and said it was essential to have a policy defining the relationship with the sector including the majority of organisations within it that did not provide services on behalf of the council or receive grant funding.
(4) In response to comments and questions Mr Whittle said the following:
(a) A single downloadable application form for grants was being designed and would be available in a prominent position on the Council’s website together with a grant prospectus providing further information about grants and funding;
(b) Consideration would be given to including anonymised case studies to assist with the understanding of grants and their use. He also said that those commissioning services had the opportunity to support charities but would need to demonstrate a clear link to the Council’s strategic priorities;
(c) The definition of social value was very broad. The Commissioning Framework, which was closely related to the Voluntary and Community Sector Policy, was designed to encourage commissioners to think about social value and the new public contracts regulations made it easier to break contracts into smaller units which would enable smaller charitable and voluntary organisations to submit tenders.
(5) Resolved that:
(a) The proposed decision to adopt the Voluntary and Community Sector Policy be endorsed subject to clarification about the use of grants;
(b) An update on the implementation of the policy be received by the Policy and Resources Committee in September 2016.