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Compact on Relations between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

I am today placing in the Library of the House copies of the report of the annual meeting to review the compact held on 13 December 2007.

The annual meeting looked at the successes of the compact and the challenges for the coming year. The joint compact action plan for 2008-09 sets out a programme of work designed to:

Strengthen relationships and partnerships at national level, to deliver the national compact

Strengthen relationships and partnerships at local level, supported by local and regional compacts and action plans

Increase understanding of the role of the compact in promoting equality and community cohesion

Strengthen the independence, voice and campaigning work of the sector

Ensure the compact and codes are fully up to date in a changing legislative and policy environment.

Following the annual meeting, we have drawn up a more comprehensive implementation plan, to support the joint action plan, with the commission, compact voice and key delivery partners. This is available on the compact website at www.thecompact.org.uk.

This year the compact will celebrate its tenth anniversary. The Government are committed to ensuring the compact is stronger than ever. It remains integral to better partnership working and better decision making. We need to ensure that the compact becomes embedded in our day to day thinking, and that it becomes a story of change to drive better outcomes for communities and the people they serve.

The independent commission for the compact is working with Compact Voice and the Office of the Third Sector, to oversee the operation of the compact. I have appointed Sir Bert Massie as the new Commissioner for the compact, who will push for greater compliance with the compact. I have also pledged an increased investment to the Commissioner for the compact of £6 million over the next three years and nearly £1 million to Compact Voice, which represents the sector interests. This will ensure we can drive forward better partnership between Government and the third sector.

The next compact annual meeting will hold partners to account on delivery of the actions in the joint compact action plan. The Commission, Government and the sector will report to the next meeting. As part of the compact annual review 2008 report, the Minister for the Third Sector will report on progress in meeting the Government's commitment to three-year funding for the third sector.