Headlines: December 7th, 2009

The Commission for the Compact, which is responsible for the partnership agreement between Government and the third sector in England, has produced new guidance for local councils on managing budget changes arising from loss of income or increased demand for services. The Commission says the principles of the Compact are more important than ever.

Local Compacts provide a framework for developing and improving partnership working between public bodies and voluntary and charity organisations at a local level. Richard Williams, policy adviser at the Commission said the current economic climate had created big budgetary pressures for councils and he added: “The Commission recognises that local authorities are facing many tough decisions and believes that national Compact principles often outlined in Local Compacts are now more important than ever.”

He said the new guidance provided a blueprint for councils to meet and manage spending priority decisions involving third sector organisations to ensure the impact on local communities was minimised. Sir Bert Massie, the Commissioner for the Compact, said the guidance was designed to help councils. “It highlights how and why Compact principles are vital tools to help make effective spending decisions, where third sector organisations are involved, and how to ensure that any negative impact on local communities is kept to a minimum,” he said.