Thursday, 22 September 2011


 A quiet week by my standards mostly organising the forthcoming public debates about “Young people and Society” to be held in Guildford on Friday 21 October from 1-3.00pm at St Saviours Church, and on Friday 25 November at the NESCOT college in Epsom also from 1.00 to 3.00pm. We have a panel of speakers and it should be an interesting public debate. One of the background factors about our society is reflected in the UNICEF report on children’s wellbeing, researching why UK children aged 9-13 are so unhappy compared to counterparts in Sweden and Spain, and this is on our website.

We have also put up on the website a superb report by New Philanthropy Capital on “Early Interventions: An economic approach to charitable giving” that assesses the economic savings from early interventions and encourages the social finance market to invest in this area. Whilst the case for early intervention has been known, and proven for over a decade, we have not taken it forward significantly because of the argument about double funding (maintaining existing services whilst also targeting high need families) and public authorities have typically not afforded it. The social finance argument removes this difficulty by using an alternative funding stream, but does still depend on public authorities being able to discern cost savings.

We had a really enjoyable team awayday on Tuesday planning our modest move into charging for some services on a consultancy basis as a way of moving towards our target of diversifying funding sources. This followed a half day training course on consultancy skills on a pro bono basis by a consultant. I think we all feel very energized by the prospect of what we intend to do …and we have an action plan. It was a really positive session. 

Then we have the development of Surrey’s Transforming Local Infrastructure grant bid (£600,000) that has to be submitted by the end of October, and a consultation meeting about it today.

And the news on Twitter today is that the Leader of Surrey CC Dr Andrew Povey is standing down shortly …which might explain why the meeting my Chairman and I had carefully planned and prepared for with the Deputy Leader was cancelled a short notice……

I am off to Cornwall on Friday for a long week-end with that part of our family that includes the grandchildren so that their parents can go to a “no children” wedding in Cornwall on Saturday. Rugby ( England v. Rumania )  is at 6.00 am on Saturday morning,  so it’ll be a long and exhausting day !

Maybe not such a quiet week after all!

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