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24 Oct 2013 - 19:01 by Mike Wild

At our Spirit of Manchester awards event last month one of the categories was for Most Successful Campaign. We wanted to acknowledge campaigning work because we’ve always believed that it’s the job of charities not just to meet needs but to drive change for the longer term. The history of social change in this country has been driven by the campaigning efforts of groups for centuries.

Most of our public services were established in the voluntary sector. As cuts to public sector budgets hit, it’s...

23 Oct 2013 - 15:59 by Nigel Rose

Monitor is the sector regulator for health services in England. One of its roles is to ensure that Health and Social Care Act 2012 is implemented and a key focus of the Act is on integrated care. The Act imposes duties on Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to ensure that health services are internally integrated (within NHS provided services) and externally integrated (with health and social services provided by others) where they consider that it would:

1)...

13 Aug 2013 - 10:48 by Mike Wild

During the recent bout of hot weather, I somehow managed to come down with a cold. I not only felt ill, I also felt ridiculous: I mean who gets a cold in the middle of a heatwave? As I write this, figures have just been released showing that the country’s economy is slowly starting to grow again after the recession. It’s a similar feeling: I’m being told it’s lovely out there but it feels dreadful. No matter what the economic analysis says, when I look around I see incomes reducing, prices rising, services closing and life generally becoming more difficult. I also know that this will...

31 Jul 2013 - 14:03 by Nigel Rose

There is much glib talk of a level playing field in procurement and commissioning. The theory is that there is an open, transparent and fair process which gives all organisations bidding for a contract an equal opportunity of "winning". Let's look at how level this playing field is.

First an anecdote! Many years ago I was heavily involved in campaigning for the rights of people with mental health problems and one of the key issues, as always, was access to work. One particularly enterprising council that I came across had, through long experience and monitoring, realised that no-one...

Shared Topic Areas

26 Jul 2013 - 16:14 by Mike Wild

I've mentioned previously that there's a danger that this blog becomes a series of rants about things I'm angry about. Well not today, at least!

Our State of the Voluntary Sector report shows there are over 3000 voluntary and community groups in Manchester. I don't know them all but I do know a lot of them and one of the great pleasures of my job is that I get to see some of the amazing things happening in groups across Manchester and meet some fantastic people.

The scale and diversity of that effort is...

4 Jul 2013 - 16:48 by Nigel Rose

Spot purchasing is a new and strange idea to many voluntary organisations but is becoming more common as public bodies seek to reduce costs. It can be a far riskier form of funding if it contributes significantly to the financial viability of an organisation, as there are usually no guarantees of income, unlike grants or fixed contracts. This article examines a few of the considerations that need to be taken into account when developing a pricing plan. Some of the key concepts are emboldened. This article does not attempt to deal with the ethical issues arising for...

17 Jun 2013 - 16:52 by Mike Wild

Judging by the phone calls, emails and tweets I and my colleagues have had, the report in Third Sector of comments by Geoff Little (Deputy CEO of Manchester City Council) addressing the Charity Finance Group conference earlier this week has sent a shockwave around the voluntary and community sector not just in Manchester but the rest of the country too.

It's not the best idea to respond to a speech which I didn't actually hear but the comments as reported do raise concerns about the way the relationships between Local...

16 May 2013 - 14:41 by mary.duncan

A Listening Event with Jon Cruddas MP, Labour Party Policy Coordinator

A debate was organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in Wythenshawe on Monday to look at parenting policies. Jon Cruddas was the keynote speaker (author of the Labour Party’s Election Manifesto for 2015). In theory, this was planned to be a ‘listening’ event to define the central challenges for social policy over the coming decade. The focus for the debate was families and childhood - a better start in life.

It was fair to say that the meeting was a missed opportunity...

Shared Topic Areas

10 May 2013 - 16:25 by Mike Wild

This morning I was in the happy position of being able to present our new research into the state of the voluntary sector in Manchester. It has been a long-held ambition of mine to be able to show the full extent of the enormous contribution which voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and the community work of faith groups make to the city. 

Like many of the major cities, Manchester is facing the combined effects of recession, public sector spending cuts and long standing deprivation in local communities. The results of our research show that the voluntary,...

29 Apr 2013 - 12:46 by Nigel Rose

One way of describing my role as Strategic Lead on Commissioning is that it is “to improve commissioning between public authorities and the voluntary and community sector (VCS) ”. This raises the question “what is a public authority?”

The definition of public authority is particularly important in the procurement phase of commissioning as there are special rules that dictate how procurement works for public authorities. These were developed as part of the liberalisation agenda of the European Economic Community. Contracts that fall under Part A of the EU procurement rules are very...

Shared Topic Areas

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