Live chat: Police and crime commissioners – two years on

This live chat took place at 13.30 on Tuesday 18 November

Download highlights from this live chat – includes a list of resources (PDF, 200KB)

This Saturday will mark two years since the first elections of 41 police and crime commissioners (PCC) across England and Wales. We thought this would be a good opportunity to look back and:

  • see how the commissioner role has developed
  • learn about the changing funding context for commissioning
  • look at how voluntary organisations can build effective relationships with these elected officials.

PCCs are responsible for a combined police force area budget of £8bn, and play an important role in local commissioning.  They are accountable for how crime is tackled in their area and aim to ensure that community needs are met as effectively as possible. They often work in partnership with a number of different agencies locally and nationally – including the voluntary sector – to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.

Alongside our panel listed below join us to discuss the following:

  • What methods are PCCs adopting to engage and commission with the voluntary sector?
  • Has having an elected commissioner impacted on the way the voluntary sector oganisations are engaged and funded in commissioning?
  • What steps can voluntary sector organisations take in order to develop a positive relationship with the commissioner?
  • What role has the sector played in the needs assessment or “mapping and gapping” of PCC commissioned services, for example victim support and crime prevention services?
  • From your experience or knowledge, can you highlight examples of good partnership working and commissioning with the voluntary sector?

Expert panel

Anna Hill, Custody Visiting and VCSE Officer – Avon and Somerset PCC

Anna joined the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner after working in the voluntary sector for five years. As lead engagement officer with the VCSE sector across Avon and Somerset, Anna worked with local CVSs to create the OPCC VCSE sector charter. She plays an active role in several local Compact groups across the force area and supports the commissioning team with their VCSE sector capacity building workshops which aim prepare the sector for any PCC commissioning.

David Smith, Third Sector Adviser – West Yorkshire PCC

David has been working at the West Yorkshire PCC since January 2014, on secondment from Voluntary Action Leeds. David supports the work of the Third Sector Advisory Group, which he established last year,  as well as supporting the PCC on the development of his commissioning strategy. The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan has been heavily influenced by the voluntary sector, which also refers to its current and potential future role in making communities safer.

Nathan Dick, Head of Policy and Communications – Clinks

Nathan joined Clinks in 2006 and has since supported various parts of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice. Nathan has experience of supporting faith based organisations, worked alongside the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) campaign, the Race for Justice campaign, campaigns to increase through the gate mentoring services, and the Arts Alliance to make the case for the creative arts in our criminal justice and community safety. Nathan also led Clinks’ local development team, supporting and listening to the voluntary sector in London, South West, North East, Wales and Greater Manchester.

Questions and answers

Post your questions below for Anna, David and Nathan in the comments section or join us at 13.30 on Tuesday 18 November for a live chat with them.

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121 Responses to Live chat: Police and crime commissioners – two years on

  1. Margaret Firth says:

    Hi I’m interested in this live chat, but unfortunately unable to join it, will details of discussion be posted afterwards? thanks

    • Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

      Hi Margaret, we’ll be drawing out the highlights of the discussion and posting up on a blog this week, and this page will still be available to read the full discussion.

    • Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

      Thanks Ann, your question on Police and Crime Panels brings us nicely to our first discussion point on what methods PCCs are adopting to engage and commission with the voluntary sector.

  2. Being small and highly specialist voluntary sector causes difficulties in the procurement process.
    Commisioners are not often up to speed, with SPLD ( dyslexia) issues and how to help people.
    Dyslexia affects up to 10 % of the population. So it likely that officers come in contact with this problem.
    We have recently seen good practice working with Suffolk police, who have invited us into police station
    for ‘road shows’ which have been very well received.

    • Lev Pedro says:

      This is a great comment, and I would say that this issue would affect any number of specialist services. How will PCC commissioners ensure that they have the intelligence and capability to commission highly specialised services where needed?

      • Nathan Dick says:

        I agree entirely that the majority of much smaller voluntary sector organisations, especially specialist ones, are likely not to have the resources to do much face to face engagement with PCCs and their offices, neither do PCCs always have the structures in place to respond to the wide range of small organisations. I think this is a question of clear and transparent structures that allow people like Jenny to raise these issues in a constructive way. We know there are some good examples emerging but I think we all need to get better at advocating for ways in which the voluntary sector can be engaged. A while back we produced a guide to setting up voluntary sector networks which I think gives some great practical tips for how you can achieve better representation:

  3. What process will exist beyond this financial year for funding/commissioning of specialist support services within the voluntary sector for victims of sexual crime?
    If any such funding/commissioning becomes available to VCS specialist services for victims of sexual crime, how will this be managed/made available for applying/expression of interest?
    What are the long term plans for funding of such specialist services?

    • David Smith says:

      Jenny makes an interesting point – my partner suffers from SPLD (dyslexia) so I see how it affects him. I’d be very interested in how Suffolk tackled this, can you give me a contact?

    • David Smith says:

      I suspect each PCC’s approach will be different. Her in West Yorks we are offering funding for a W Yorks ISVA service for 2 years from April 2015. We are using the Bluelight website to advertise the opportunity.

    • Anna Hill says:

      Here in Avon and Somerset, rather than commission for specific crime types, our victims commissioning chose to opt for advocacy services based on vulnerabilities. Working on the principles of VCOP and recognising that particular types of individuals may be especially vulnerable victims, it was proposed that three specific lots be developed; for young victims, a culture and identity service and an advocacy service for vulnerable adults.
      The lots were identified based on recommendations which came out of the Avon and Somerset Integrated Victim Care Needs Assessment and feedback received as part of the commissioning intentions consultation process.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      I would just add to Anna’s comment here that our experience has been that PCC areas have been trying to do some widescale consultation with the sector on victims services. I have also heard of areas where a large bulk of the existing services will be commissioned directly from the incumbent providers, but that there is funding held over for specialist delivery. I imagine the processes will be different in all areas, as will the priorities, which is part of the trouble in giving you precise advice. Do you have a relationship with any of the incumbent victims services in your areas that could help you raise the issues with the PCCs office?

    • Anna Hill says:

      Going back to your first point Dirk, in Avon and Somerset the sexual violence agencies in the area have worked together to brief the OPCC on gaps in provision. The OPCC met with them as a group to discuss the issues and this fed directly into the commissioning consultation for our huge victims commissioning work.

  4. David Smith says:

    Well here I am waiting to get going with the Q & A …

  5. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    Welcome! Looking forward to the discussion today, great to see questions already coming in! Shall we kick off with the pannelists introducing themselves?

  6. Gordon says:

    I’m interested in understanding how we determine whether or not a Police & Crime Commissioner is adding value. How do we measure, in real and understandable terms, their actual personal performance – what changes should we see as a result of their personal impact? It’s your Appraisal – no flannel or politics, or taking credit for stuff that would have happened anyway – what have you personally achieved?

    • David Smith says:

      Each PCC will have got elected on a manifesto – so I guess the measure of performance is, has s/he delivered on the promises made during the election? Mark said he would work in a new way with the third sector, and he has.

      • Anna Hill says:

        I agree with David, our PCC Sue Mounstevens was (and still is) a politically independent candidate who was elected by the people of Avon and Somerset. Her priorities are set and reviewed by continually talking to local people and ascertaining what change they want to see and then putting the funds and resources in place to do that, and holding those responsible for such change to account. If you look back on the last 2 years, in my opinion I feel the success of our office has been down to the continual channeling of the voice of the public, which would not have happened without a PCC.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      I suppose the ultimate determination of their value is whether they get re-elected or not, depending on how close the public scrutiny of the role is (and in London you don’t quite have the same lines of accountability). Having said that, each PCC set out a Policing and Crime Plan which they should be working towards meeting. They also have the Policing and Crime Panel which is usually made up of Councillors, elected mayor (if there is one), local authority reps, and two independents. I would argue that at least one of those independent people should be from the voluntary sector, and I know a few that are.

      Here are our analysis of the Policing and Crime plans for 2013/14:

  7. Nathan Dick says:

    Hi everyone, looks like the conversation is already getting going. Just wanted to say hello and will start to reply to comments now.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      Maybe I should say a bit more too. Here at Clinks we have been supporting the voluntary sector to engage with PCCs, and vice versa, since their inception 2 years ago. I am the Head of Policy and communications and was previously involved in managing our local development work which has engaged quite a bit with PCCs across England and Wales. For a bit of history on our big Safer Future Communities project that engaged PCCs with the sector, visit:

  8. David Smith says:

    My name is David Smith, I am on secondment to the West Yorks PCC Mark Burns-Williamson as his third sector adviser.

  9. David Smith says:

    Hello Nathan. I hope we have all recovered from NOT winning at the Compact Awards! (something we all have in common!)

  10. Julia Selby says:

    It’s accepted that early intervention is the best prevention, what plans do PCCs have to involve/support the children’s voluntary sector in delivering preventative services?

    • David Smith says:

      I don’t entirely agree with Julia. You cant say to communities, crime will be reduced in 10 – 20 years time when these kids grow up not to be offenders. But prevention is an important aspects. Victims can prevent crime by changing behavior – for example by locking doors and not leaving valuable items on display in cars.

      • Anna Hill says:

        Julia, here in Avon and Somerset Sue our PCC has ‘Champions’ for each of her priority areas; one of which is the ‘Youth Champion’. The Youth Champion’s role is to work closely with statutory services, VCSE sector and crucially young people themselves to ensure that good partnership working is taking place and that the very best approach to working with young people is taken.

    • David Smith says:

      Having said that our PCC is funding Young Lives Bradford (a network of children and youth organisations in the city) to do exactly what you are suggesting.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      Hi Julia. It definitely is the case that early intervention is a great way to prevent future offending and I think most PCCs would agree with you. I suppose the difficulty with a lot of the funding available in criminal justice services is focused on tackling the people who are already in the system. I imagine all PCCs will have a different take on their ability to push money into this area, but it will come at a cost to other funding pots. I think the solution here is how the PCC collaborates with local authorities, children’s services, and troubled families to find some crossover and mutual benefit. We did work with NCVYS on a manifesto for young people which is probably as close as we got to looking at a younger age range:

  11. What is your experience of the engagement of Police and Crime Panels with the voluntary sector as the PCPs carry out their ‘challenge and support’ of the PCC?

    • David Smith says:

      Very interesting point Ann. Ours has yet to take a direct interest in the sector as far as I know, the drive has all come from the PCC himself.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      Hi Ann. We have recently undertaken a survey of the voluntary sector’s experience of working with PCCs. We have 130 organisations respond and the engagement rate wasn’t very good, and needs to see significant improvement (with some exceptions to the rule). I don’t know if an audit of the PCPanel independent reps has been done but I suspect it’s not widespread that the role is taken by a voluntary sector representative. I think there’s often a fear, from all commissioners in my experience, that engaging with service providers creates a possible conflict of interest between their role as a critical friends and their role as a potential service provider. I think that can be easily overcome with clear procedures but it is a commonly held view.

      • Anna Hill says:

        As far as I’m aware our Police and Crime Panel is made up of Councillors from all local authorities and three independent co-opted members – which could include those from the voluntary sector – although I’m not aware of any targeted recruitment.

      • David Smith says:

        Yes the conflict of interest thing … I wish I had counted the number of times its been raised with me over the last few years, in my previous role as Director of a Community Empowerment Network and since then. The answer unequivocally that the sector is not just a provider. It commissions by bidding for grants and deploying volunteers for example. It champions unmet need.

  12. David Smith says:

    To perhaps generate a bit of controversy, what impact do people feel the calls for the abolition of PCCs are having? Our PCC wasn’t in favour of the Government’s model anyway so is definitely up for change. However he doesn’t think the old Police Authority model worked so doesn’t want us to go backwards in terms of police accountability.

    • Lev Pedro says:

      I wonder if there are examples of how the personal priorities of Commissioners are being played out in a PCC area?

      • David Smith says:

        A lot of consultation has been done, so our PCCs personal priorities hopefully reflect what people are saying to him. I think violent crime, especially with a sexual element, is close to his heart and there is certainly a big emphasis on that. Many third sector organisations such a Rape Crisis share his concerns.

        • Anna Hill says:

          I agree with David, Sue spends at least one day a week in the community and so her priorities are a reflection of what local people and partners are telling her. Sue is extremely passionate about each of her priority areas (ASB, burglary, domestic and sexual violence, and victims) and has a ‘Champion’ from her office for each of the areas. I know victims is especially close to her heart as this transcends any crime type, any demographic and any vulnerability. This has led to Avon and Somerset completely revolutionising the way it supports it’s victims of both crime and ASB. You can find out more here:

          • David Smith says:

            That’s a good point about victims, Anna. Our PCC feel strongly that despite advances the system still neglects the victim. And thinks the sector is best placed to meet their needs with proper resources to do so.

      • Nathan Dick says:

        I think it’s inevitable in an elected post that they will bring personal priorities, and existing areas of knowledge, to the table. I suppose the question is whether those are unhelpfully influencing the feedback from consultation exercises, or from the evidenced need in a local area. I would hope this wasn’t the case.

  13. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    Just to remind you, you can see the latest responses by refreshing your webpage.

  14. David Smith says:

    Ann could I ask you what role if any the Panel has played in your work?

  15. David Smith says:

    Sorry Anna I meant Anna of course.

  16. Dave Forrest says:

    Its good to hear that Bradford is of course a model of good practice in this area! In West Yorkshire I do think our sector has much more access to the Police generally thanks the PCC role and your work David.

    • David Smith says:

      Thank you very much Dave I appreciate it. I have had very good feedback generally. Its interesting to be supporting the sector from right in the heart of the PCC operation … less independent but it seems to add value

    • David Smith says:

      Mark (the PCc0 has visited a lot of third sector organisations, and the feedback I get is generally positive. He listens, and doesn’t react too defensively to criticism of the police.

      • Lev Pedro says:

        I’ve been out and about delivering training (commissioned by Home Office) for local vol secs on engaging w PCCs, and I have found that PCCs are generally very willing to engage, but often both sides don’t know HOW. … “Meet the PCC” events seem to work, but the PCC should really be able to give some concrete info on how their commissioning is moving forward. Also, it is important that the local vol sec is organised, and has a way of providing a single point of contact for the PCC Office.

        • David Smith says:

          I would be interested to know more about your work Lev, there is always a need to do more to raise awareness, especially in a big area like W Yorks. In Leeds alone there are 3000 voluntary and community organisations, I am sure no more than a fraction know I exist.

        • Nathan Dick says:

          Hi Lev, is the training still being run? Would be great to advertise that to our members and further afield. Sounds like a good product.

          • Lev Pedro says:

            Nathan, David – you’re both on my list to discuss – we’ve been commissioned for another series early 2015 specifically for orgs addressing youth crime. We also have a well regarded one-day course that PCCs can buy from us. I’ll be in touch with you both offline.

        • Anna Hill says:

          Lev, that work you’ve been doing sounds really interesting! I know some of the CVS organisations across Avon and Somerset have been doing similar work. Some of the methods our office is adopting to engage and commission well with the VCSE sector is through market events, briefings arranged by CVS/umbrella organisations, email updates to all stakeholders, ensuring a named lead in the OPCC and communicating this well. We also make sure we offer a range of funding opportunities from small grants to larger grants via a more competitive process to ensure we’re attracting providers of all sizes. My role here at the OPCC is to bridge the gap between the VCSE sector and the PCC, so I sit on several Compact groups (or equivalent) to ensure there is communication both ways. This has led to our VCSE charter, our promise to the sector. I’m also extremely lucky to be working with a completely open and progressive commissioning team who welcome feedback and suggestions, and have been working really hard to ensure we get our commissioning right first time.

  17. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    So coming back to the first discussion point, what methods are PCCs using to engage with the VCS and how is this fed back into their strategies?

    • David Smith says:

      I have mentioned some of them already – Mark (our PCC) has done a lot of visits. He has appointed a Third Sector Advisory Group whose membership is regularly refreshed. He has appointed me as a single point of contact for the sector in his office.

    • Nathan Dick says:

      I mentioned this above, that we have done a consultation recently with the voluntary sector on how they’ve engaged with PCCs. We will have the report ready by the end of the week, and it will be advertised in our weekly ebulletin (light Lunch: As a quick summary of the main findings though, we did hear from a lot of voluntary sector organisations that felt their views and priorities were well represented in Policing and Crime Plans, which is great. However, the sector’s engagement in informing the plan and wider PCC priorities seemed to be very patchy, and in need of significant improvement. It feels like David’ role in West Yorkshire is a success story, but this needs to be replicated much more widely.

    • Anna Hill says:

      See my response above!

  18. David Smith says:

    I’d like to say as far as strategies are concerned, its a bit of a struggle to get the sector to take an interest when strategies are being developed. Then they complain when they don’t like them. I appreciate it can be quite time consuming without immediate benefits to show.

    • Lev Pedro says:

      One of the things we cover in the training is the importance of vol sec getting involved in the “mapping and gapping” and to bring service user voice. Of course they will not see an immediate benefit.

      • David Smith says:

        I think its critical that the sector is rooted in community and service user perspectives. That’s not always the case. But it can clinch the argument about resources.

      • Anna Hill says:

        Lev, we’ve really focused on this as part of the consultation for our victims commissioning. I mentioned it above but a good example I can give is the great way sexual violence agencies across the area got together to brief the OPCC on gaps in provision with a single, united set of recommendations. We then met with them to discuss the issues they mentioned and this directly fed into how the commissioning process for victims was taken forward. If the VCSE sector have things they think we need to hear I would urge them to make themselves known as we’re all ears, contribute to consultations and make sure you have your say!

    • Nathan Dick says:

      I think we have to acknowledge that a lot of organisations have a very limited resource to respond. Most do want to feed in to strategies but we need to get smarter in how this is done, and how much time we allow to do it. A lot of voluntary sector organisations in the Criminal Justice Sector are very small, and we need to work with that reality.

    • Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

      The time lag between engagement and seeing the benefits is a major barrier to engagement for small, time- and resource-poor organisations. How can PCCs make the case to get small organisations interested and involved?

      • David Smith says:

        Many PCCs are providing some kind of small grants pot, there is scope to ask for money to engage more with strategy or service development rather than direct delivery. I do feel the sector maybe doesn’t give it the priority it should.

      • David Smith says:

        I also think that the relationship building that takes place around a strategic engagement can deliver benefits quite quickly, your organization is more aware of opportunities, and is better know to decision makers.

      • Nathan Dick says:

        We have had some really good feedback about small grant pots. But we did also hear a number of instances where grant pots haven’t been well advertised. This means you get a low response rate and poor outcomes. PCCs, and historically Police Authorities, don’t have the networks of voluntary sector organisations (although I’m sure that’s developing in some areas). So, we need to find ways in which to access existing networks to get the sector involved. There is definitely a role here for local infrastructure organisations like CVS’, but many haven’t been engaged with criminal justice in the past. Again, there are some good examples, and Sefton CVS do a great job of working with the Merseyside PCCs office, and I know that the North East has some really interesting engagement strategies working with VONNE and MVDA, as are GMCVO in Greater Manchester who are negotiating a network with their PCC.

        • David Smith says:

          That is good to hear Nathan, I used to attend the CVS Core Cities network and its clear things have progressed in the last 18 months. Generally I think the sector has warmed up to PCCs. If it wants to keep them (or a variation, say a small directly elected Police Board) we need to speak up.

        • David Smith says:

          However I also agree about small pots needing good linkages to outcomes. Our last round had a theme, equality and diversity, I think that is a good idea.

        • Anna Hill says:

          I think I’m really lucky here in that in Avon and Somerset we have some fantastic CVS/infrastructure organisations that make relationship building so much easier. My experience has been that they welcome commissioners with open arms and give them the opportunity to work with the VCSE sector in a really productive way and also offer good support to both sides. I don’t think we’d be in the position we are now without the likes of VOSCUR in Bristol, CVS South Gloucestershire, VANS in North Somerset and South Somerset Association for Voluntary and Community Action.

  19. Nathan Dick says:

    Clinks has done quite a lot of work on service user involvement, and is a keen advocate of getting them involved in developing services and strategies. We have produced research on where it is done well ( and also guidance on how to do it ( I wonder whether anyone has experienced it happening?

  20. David Smith says:

    PCC elections are due in about 18 months, its worth thinking abouthow you use that period to influence your PCC. No-one knows if the elections will go ahead, but PCCs need to assume they will.

  21. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    Don’t worry if you miss anything during the discussion, we’ll be posting the highlights with all the links to resources shared by our panelists.

  22. David Smith says:

    How are we doing Neena, have we covered everything you wanted discussed?

  23. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    Doing great David, its been a lively discussion! Please feel free to ask any questions yourselves. I’d really like to know what are the key things that VCS orgs need to be thinking about or should know when engaging with PCCs?

    • David Smith says:

      Also don’t forget about the role of local authorities in all this. They work through Community Safety Partnerships with the Police. Local councilors sit on the Police and Crime Panel and on Community Safety Partnerships. If the PCC system changes, these relationships might be just as important.

    • Anna Hill says:

      I’ve touched on this above but I think that VCS orgs really need to make themselves known and get involved if they can with the consultations – they are the people we need to hear from. There’s a range of ways to get in touch so if time or resource is scarce just send an email as it will get to where it needs to be. When considering applying for funding, have a good read of the commissioning and grants strategy (ours can be found here: before asking for cash directly, find out where your service fits. Also, if there’s any events of interest try and attend so you can find out more and get your face out there!

  24. David Smith says:

    Have we run out of questions? Are there any others?

  25. David Smith says:

    ok just seen yours Neena. I think they need to look at the existing Police and Crime Plan, and make an approach to the PCC (and possibly the other parties who will be fielding candidates. The approach should be a mixture of offers to deliver the existing plan and ideas for inclusion in the new Plan after the election. Those are things to try to get in manifestos.

  26. Nathan Dick says:

    I wonder if anyone has come across our recent report on commissioning from the voluntary sectory, ‘More than a provider’ ( We worked with some PCC offices in commenting on our recommendations and now have a great resource for improving commissioning. If you can’t bear to read the whole report then have a look at a blog called ’10 elements of great commissioning’ written by the reports author (Isabel Livingstone) here:

    • Nathan Dick says:

      I suppose I am highlighting this because I think we are still working with some very new commissioning structures. This means that we should be able to influence how they’re set up, and we all know that there’s lots of commissioning practices that can be improved. This (almost 2 year long) study of voluntary sector organisation’s experiences of commissioning.

      • David Smith says:

        I’d like to emphasis the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) which should be undertaken for every commissioning exercise. Its not a legal requirement but if you don’t do it you cant really demonstrate that are taking account of the Equality Act. Our regional Police Procurement team totally accept the need for robust EIAs. Its covered in the Clinks publication Nathan has mentioned.

  27. Anna Hill says:

    I think one thing that is worth noting is that the PCC is not the only commissioner in town, our work is done in partnership with other key (but perhaps less visible) commissioners for example, health. It’s important to recognise their contribution when it comes to shared outcomes. For the PCC, Community Safety Partnerships are a key partner in considering the local need and specialist services. Going back to the first question about the success of the PCC, without sounding cliche, there would be no successes without good partnership working between the sectors and with various stakeholders.

  28. David Smith says:

    Neena I assume people have taken part will have access to our contact details?

    • Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

      Hi David, we can’t share contact details due to Data Protection but please feel free to post your contact details up here, or alternatively people can leave comments below or contact me on to forward comments.

  29. Those taking part in the chat may be interested to read the report from our Police and Crime Panels Conference held recently in Nottingham focussing on scrutiny and accountability

  30. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    We’ve got about 5-10 mins left – are there any final thoughts you’d like to share?

  31. Elaine says:

    The Compact Voice team is aware that a lot of PCCs are engaging with local Compact groups – and vice versa. As well as the good work being done by Voluntary Action Leeds and the West Yorks. PCC and the Avon and Somerset PCC, we’ve heard that the Essex PCC signed up to the Essex Compact steering group earlier this year and there’s also good work going on in Norfolk. This resource might be useful in making the case for engagement:

  32. David Smith says:

    My contact details are Or just ring me on 07595 006087.

  33. David Smith says:

    Thanks to NCVO for setting up this Q&A. Its given me some new ideas.

  34. Nathan Dick says:

    I would just like to say that I think we have some way to go on this agenda, especially if we want to see more widespread engagement of the voluntary sector either commissioned as providers, or as strategic voices in developing priorities. We need to keep highlighting good practice, and making sure that we promote what’s going on locally. If anyone want to use the Clinks blog to promote good approaches then drop me a line (

    We also have the small matter of a general election and the impact that a new government could have. Interesting times ahead.

    Also, keep an eye out for our survey results later this week and look through our blogs where we’ll be talking about the report. You can access that from our website

  35. Neena Bhati, NCVO says:

    Thanks to everyone for taking part and especially our panelists for answering our many questions. Please feel free to carry on the conversation and continue to use this forum to post your comments.

    We’ll be posting highlights of the discussion later this week, with a list of all the mentioned resources.

    This live Q&A is part of a series of live discussions on voluntary sector engagement with local actors, structures and policies.

    Our next discussion – Voice and advocacy?…still a relevant role for Infrastructure organisations? – will be on Tuesday 25 November at 1pm. Join us!

  36. Anna Hill says:

    Thanks very much for having me. I’m more than happy to answer any questions, my email is