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Funding cuts - Councils given new guidance

News from: Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)

by Richard Corbett (Director)

7 September 2011

Just passing on NAVCA Chief Executive Kevin Curley's comments on the Best Value Statutory Guidance published last week. It is well worth reading if you have any concerns over decommissioning.

I want to draw to your attention the Best Value Statutory Guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government last week.

This Statutory Guidance is more useful to the local voluntary sector than I had anticipated. It is also admirably concise - only two pages. So, I urge you to be familiar with it.

Here is an extract from it:
Authorities should seek to avoid passing on disproportionate reductions - by not passing on larger reductions to the voluntary and community sector as a whole than they take on themselves - and in particular:

o An authority intending to reduce or end funding or other support to a voluntary and community organisation should give at least three months' notice......
o An authority should actively engage the organisation and service users as early as possible before making the decision on: the future of the services; any knock-on effect on assets used to provide this service; and the wider impact on the local community.
o Authorities should make provision for the organisation, service users, and wider community to put forward options on how to reshape the service or project......

In an accompanying document the importance of the Guidance is made clear:
The Guidance is statutory, based on the Duty of Best Value. This means Best Value authorities have to have regard to it and could be challenged to show they have done so, but cannot be compelled to follow it.

This is a particularly important statement should you be considering a public law challenge in your area.

The full Statutory Guidance together with a letter from Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State, can be seen here

The accompanying document from which I have quoted above can be seen at here

Kevin Curley
NAVCA Chief Executive


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