Public services news round-up: September 2018

Last chance to feed into the future of open government

The government consultation on its next two-year Open Government National Action Plan closes this Wednesday 3 October. If you’re an organisation with an interest in any aspect of open government, such as democratic accountability, transparency of government spending, or freedom of information, we’d love you to feed into the process. It’s very easy to do so – you can comment directly onto an online draft document rather than putting in a formal submission. If you want to read more on the process or feed in, have a read of Andreas Pavlou’s guest blog.

NHS long term plan consultation closes

The NHS consultation on the development of a long term plan closed last week, and the priorities that emerge will be announced alongside budget 2018 at the end of October. In short, the plan will set out how the NHS plans to use the £20bn of extra funding that the prime minister announced this summer. NCVO fed into the consultation as part of a joint Health and Wellbeing Alliance submission, with an emphasis on reducing health inequalities and implementing the VCSE Review 2018 Action Plan. Keep an eye out in the coming days for my colleague Rosie’s blog with more detail on the Alliance’s response.

Beyond the European Social Fund

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued a technical notice on the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the government’s ‘no deal’ EU exit preparations that means UK organisations will be unable to access EU funding for ESF projects after March 2019 if there’s no deal.

We’re looking at what will come next. European social funding has supported major public services programmes like the Work Programme and other projects delivered in part by charities, such as the Building Better Opportunities fund. We want to make a strong case for replacing ESF funding post-Brexit and ensuring it has a design that enables charities of all sizes to deliver work under it. We need case studiesdata and research that highlight the positive impact on:

  • the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged groups
  • the economic agenda, eg by reducing strain on Jobcentre Plus and other services
  • the employability of those furthest from employment opportunities,

or demonstrate:

  • multi-agency and/or multi-sector partnerships
  • programmes that effectively foster innovation
  • the value of either long-term and short-term funding.

If you’re able help, please contact Paul Winyard by 17.00 on 17 October.

Enabling Social Action programme

Expressions of interest are now open for the Enabling Social Action programme. The programme will provide support to local authority commissioners in four local authorities to embed social action in their routine working and to co-design, co-produce and co-deliver services with services, local people and civil society organisations. The two-year programme is a partnership between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the universities of Sheffield and Hull.

If you think that your local authority may benefit from this programme, then you can find out more and apply online. The deadline for applications is 12 October 2018.

NCVO public services training and consulting

We are excited to launch a revised public services training and consulting offer drawing on NCVO’s wealth of experience in this area. If your charity wants help understanding and succeeding in the public service market environment, then we’d love to discuss how we can help you. Similarly, we can also help commissioners to work well with their local voluntary sector, and develop their provider market, with the aim of improving and transforming public services.

You can also join us at the following training events:

Enterprisingly charitable  – 11 October, London – This course will take a practical look at all the elements that need to be considered when starting up an enterprise within the context of a charity.

Writing successful bids  – 12 October, Manchester – This course will teach you the key tactics to make your bid stand out.

NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2018: Good governance, great organisations – 5 November, London – Join us as we explore the key principles of good governance and how to embed them across your organisation.

The Public Services Transformation Academy have partnered with ACEVO to support civil society leaders understand commissioners and how best to work with them. Their first Commissioning Masterclass for Civil Society Leaders takes place on 22 November.

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Avatar photo Michael was our senior policy officer until January 2019, covering issues around charity tax and finance (including social investment) and the impact of the economy on the sector.

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