I am today placing in the Library of the Houses of Parliament copies of the report of the annual meeting to review the Compact held on 22 November 2006.
The coming years present the opportunity to make significant steps forward in the implementation of the Compact, building on what has been achieved. This year has seen a record 28 Compact Annual Meeting commendations for excellence, showing that the Compact is increasingly being used as a tool to improve partnership working and increase sector involvement. The publication of the Partnership in Public Services Action Plan, the Local Government White Paper and the review of the future role of the third sector in social and economic regeneration, as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, will all contribute to the creation of an environment in which Compact principles can flourish.
We will continue to work to ensure that Compact principles become fully embedded in the culture of central and local government bodies and voluntary and community organisations. The appointment of the Commissioner for the Compact, John Stoker, will help us with this process, overseeing partnership working and the operation of the Compact. He will report to future annual reviews on the state of the relationship. The next annual review will look at progress against the Compact Action Plan.
Together we need to achieve consistent good practice, building on the Compact and improving public services, and supporting the sector's role in advocating for and empowering people and communities.