UK: Local Politics




Partnership is important to all organisations.  Both the District Council and the local Voluntary Sector see it as essential to development of a Community Strategy to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of residents in Wealden.


The newly established Local Strategic Partnership has confirmed that partnership benefits local people by making the best use of resources and by fostering opportunities to develop services.  Both development and implementation of a Community Strategy for the Wealden area and the Councilís on-going review of services to secure Best Value will benefit from the role local voluntary groups can play.  The following outlines key elements for joint working and underlying principles.


Key elements for Joint Working


Effective and meaningful methods of consultation and decision-making should be in place to enable the voluntary sector and the District Council to plan future services to best advantage. Wealden are failing to communicate effectively because there are so many hidden agendas. The council is forever looking over its shoulder to see if yet another scandal has been uncovered.  Why?


The capacity of the voluntary sector should be enhanced through a commitment to information sharing, training and practical support to organisations and people working in the sector. Funding and other resources should be organised in such a way as to help both sectors to meet their mutual objectives and encourage longer term planning.


Voluntary organisations and the District Council should work together to promote good practice in both sectors and to achieve the best possible services. The independence of the voluntary sector, its campaigning role and its diversity, are fundamental to the well-being of the community and should be valued and respected.


The services of voluntary organisations should be equally available to everyone within the community.  Opportunities for development in the voluntary sector should be equally accessible to all organisations.


Underlying Principles to support this Compact


A common purpose to improve the welfare of all those living in our community.


A mutual understanding of needs and difficulties.


Confidence in the strengths of both the statutory and voluntary sectors.


Respect for the achievements and the needs of the communities we serve and for one



Integrity in dealings with our partners.


The points overleaf will form the basis of the District Council and the voluntary sector continuing to work together for the benefit of the community as a whole.   This is, however, an evolving document which will be revisited periodically, to reflect the changing and increasingly demanding environment in which we are all working together.


It is also recognised that there is a need to work together to develop Codes of Practice to put in place practical steps and undertakings to underpin the Compact and ensure it is a meaningful and effective statement.  19 July 2001