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On the Hoof brings you wellbeing, health and social care news for people working in and with the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle and beyond. December’s issue includes: the City Council budget consultation; a call for submissions for Expanding Minds Improving Lives; the draft Parental Needs Market Position Statement; your VCS rep’s report from the Wellbeing for Life Board; invitation to give views on NTW quality improvement priorities; CQC visit to Newcastle; and Safeguarding resources.

Newcastle City Council has submitted proposals for a North of Tyne Community Led Local Development programme. The proposal includes Newcastle CVS, Blue Stone Consortium and other third sector organisations as strategic partners for the preparatory phase of CLLD , which will develop the scope of the North of Tyne CLLD strategy and the areas covered. The preparatory phase will take six months between March and August next year and will also see the setting up of Local Advisory Group and the identifying of an accountable body.

CLLD is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014 to 2015 and provides funding specifically for areas that experience the most severe deprivation. In Newcastle the CLLD areas includes the riverside wards from Scotswood and Benwell to Walker, parts of Kenton, Blakelaw, Fenham and Woolsington and Wallsend in North Tyneside.

A summary of the North of Tyne CLLD programme is now available along with the presentation given at a CLLD Opportunities and Approach in Newcastle event jointly organised by Newcastle CVS, Blue Stone Consortium and the city council in November.

City Council budget 2016-17

The consultation on the City Council budget 2016-17 is now live.

Overall the City Council Budget proposes cuts and savings of £30 million in 2016-17. This comes after previous cuts and increased costs totalling £191 million, and the City Council is expecting to face further cuts of £70 million in 2017-19.

There are four main papers: Ambition in the face of austerity; Appendix 1 the revenue and capital plan; and then Appendix 2 the summary about proposed investments; and Appendix 3 the summary of proposed cuts and reductions to services.

Then there are 34 Integrated Impact Assessments on the proposed cuts or service changes, such as to lunch clubs, social care in the home, council tax (increase), looked after children charging policy, older persons dementia specific resource centre, and youth service.

These are all on the City Council website under Budget 2016-17.

http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/your-council-and-democracy/budget-annual-report-and-spending/budget/budget-2016-17

At the Social Value event held at the Civic Centre on Monday it was confirmed that there will be a separate consultation about commissioning the Community Family Hub which includes the Sure Start offer, also due to start in December. It’s budget is unchanged in the budget proposals for investment, although it is in part made up of the Payment By Result Troubled Families Programme. But the targeted youth support budget which was also part of the Family Services Review last year that created the Community Family Hub, is proposed to be cut by 22% in the cuts and reductions paper.

You can respond to the Budget 2016-17 consultation via Let’s Talk Newcastle. Let’s Talk Newcastle includes some of the papers and a survey to make comments. To read the Integrated Impact Assessments for the budget proposals, click on show more for a link to the budget pages on the council's website. 

Within the topic areas in the Let’s Talk Newcastle Budget consultation page, two of the same papers, on the proposed cuts and reductions and on the proposed investments, are repeated under headings for different topics such as children’s social care or public health. But each topic has its own survey.

Visit Let’s Talk Newcastle on https://letstalknewcastle.co.uk/

The closing date for comment is 31 January 2016.

Newcastle CVS has arranged a voluntary sector meeting about the Budget consultation on 20 January to inform a collective response.

Sally Young talks about 'Being realistic about volunteerism and its capacity'

Dear Sir / Madam, 

Paul Benneworth’s article on social innovation involving citizens actively developing their own solutions for the problems they face was very well written. Certainly here in Newcastle we have a number of examples of communities coming together to find different approaches to tackle problems.  The Jesmond Community Leisure Trust has successfully managed Jesmond Pool for more than twenty years; the Blakelaw Community Partnership is taking over a local Post Office and many people from faith and non-faith organisations are providing food and clothing banks to tackle some of the worst impacts of austerity.

But let’s not fool ourselves that services that rely purely on volunteering, goodwill and minimal resources can provide an alternative to the loss of major provision by the state (whether central or local government).  Contrary to popular belief, levels of volunteerism tend to be higher in the wealthier areas, possibly because people have more time, resources and fewer worries. So if we rely purely on volunteer-run services, they might not be in the areas of greatest need.  In any case, as charities have been saying for many years, voluntary action has a cost in organisation, training, support and development.

The best and most sustainable programmes seem to be those where there is genuine partnership between the people who use services, their carers, voluntary and community groups, and the public and private sectors. But experience has shown that these take time to develop and for trust to mature. Services can’t be rapidly removed with the assumption that ‘someone will always provide’, as clearly this isn’t the case.

The rapid speed at which the state is currently shrinking is problematic; over the next few years this will become more evident in Newcastle as problems in housing, health, social care and the environment become much more obvious.

If the new Combined Authority and Mayor want to address these issues seriously, they need to involve all partners as part of the solution.

Yours sincerely

Sally Young

Our Lives was published in April this year and documented the experience of urban poverty in 21st Century Britain. The authors of the report, all women from across the UK and including Sally Young, Newcastle CVS Chief Executive, have updated the report to give an account of how those featured in the original case studies have fared during the past eight months.

The updated stories offer a mixed picture of how ordinary people facing a wide range of complex problems manage within systems that are being cut back, ending or refocused on meeting those with different levels of need and support. Some stories such as Maria’s offer hope; the majority serve to illustrate how difficult life is for people with limited assets and resources.

The latest version of Our Lives is being launched in Parliament today. To view the report click here

Plans of such a reduction would add up to a funding cut of £320m, which was described as "Hugely Damaging" by The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Rumours that George Osborne is planning to announce a reduction in the share of good causes that the Big Lottery Fund receives from 40% to 22%. This would see the Big Lottery Fund to lose £320million for every year. George Osborne will set out the spending plans for the next five years.

Since 2010 the Big Lottery Fund has funded 173 projects in Newcastle Central to a value of £14,088,885, including here at Newcastle CVS.

The cuts in the last few years now mean that charities get a greater percentage of their income through grants than contracts; so organisations such as Big Lottery are more important than ever.

Voluntary and community projects in Newcastle have all had to step in to try to cover the funding gaps in the last few years. A reduction of this level would be disastrous for Newcastle as it reduces the amount of funding for local groups at a time when many are struggling (please refer to Taking the Temperature 2015).

The smallest community groups would be hardest hit as 90% of Big Lottery Fund grants are smaller than £10,000.

It will also undermine public confidence in the Lottery by attacking the additionality principle it was funded upon; that the lottery should add to rather than replace public funding. Of course, the majority of people who buy lottery tickets tend to have lower incomes.

Big Lottery Funds are guaranteed years in advance; for instance Newcastle CVS have recently received a three year grant to develop a new neurological advocacy service. We are also involved in a 'Complex Lives' programme that is funded for seven years. This means any immediate reduction would cause many funding streams to close for several years as the money has already been allocated.

Finally, the Big Lottery has not yet been paid back the £425million that was 'borrowed' to pay for the 2012 Olympics. This means that local charities and community groups are in effect subsidising the move of West Ham football club.

Please raise these issues, quote and publicise this information. These plans would be detrimental if put in action. 

healthwatch newcastle logo

Healthwatch Newcastle is seeking a motivated, publically-aware person who can work as Chair elect from April 2016 and then as Chair from September 2016.

The time commitment will vary on a month to month basis, but is expected not to exceed the equivalent of 2-3 days per month. The remuneration is £5000 per annum, plus reasonable travel costs and other expenses.

The closing date for applications is 8 January 2016. Candidates must be available for interview on Monday 25 January 2016.

To find out more and apply visit www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/about-us/meet-the-team

 

On the Hoof brings you wellbeing, health and social care news for people working in and with the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle and beyond. 

November’s includes: the Deciding Together consultation, which in Newcastle is about older people's and adult's inpatient services, and adult community services; and the work of Expanding Minds, Improving Lives to change children and young peoples' mental health services.

There are two exciting part-time opportunities to work at Healthwatch Newcastle. We are looking for a Project Manager and a Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator with the motivation, initiative and experience to help build on our continuing success.

The closing date for completed application forms is 12 noon on 27 November. Interviews will be held w/c 9 December.

For more information and to apply visit www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/get-involved/work-with-us

'Building a picture: second report' illustrates the scale and depth of services and activities for children and young people offered by voluntary organisations in Newcastle upon Tyne. The report brings together information from23 voluntary organisations. While they vary in size the majority are in the £100,000 to £250,000 band; they spend more than £4.7 million on services and activities for children and young people, and provided 803 hours of weekly face to face services and support.

Building a picture October 2015