Headlines: November 12th, 2004

A project is being launched today in Middlesbrough to encourage local councils and voluntary organisations to share examples of how they are working together productively. To mark the launch of Local Ideals, representatives from all five unitary authorities in the Tees Valley will join partners from the voluntary sector to share ideas of good practice.Local Ideals is a partnership between the National Councilfor Voluntary Organisations and IdeA. It will pull together all the relevant policies and guidance on local collaboration and identify fresh examples of good practice.

The first phase of the project will culminate in a national ‘Summit’ early next year, which will be followed by the development of an online resource covering the whole of England.

While Local Compacts provide a broad framework within which local authorities and the local voluntary sector work together, Local Ideals has been established to identify specific examples of good practice. These could show how a particular local authority has worked with the sector to develop a better consultation mechanism or where the council has attempted to share the risks and rewards of a partnership. Councils and voluntary organisations are being invited to submit their examples.

NCVO Chief Executive Stuart Etherington believes plenty of good practice is going on but often it is only cases where things go wrong that are known about in any detail. Kevin Curley, Chief Executive of NACVS – the growing network of councils for voluntary service – said a constructive relationship between local authorities and local voluntary and community organizations was vital to the quality of life of local people and for a healthy civil society. “Local Ideals will help local partners get it right by sharing what has worked well, understanding the challenges that they face and bringing a sharp focus working together for the benefit of local communities” he said.