Friday, 30 September 2011


Interesting week – very important discussions on Tuesday morning between the County Council and infrastructure organizations – CVS, Surrey Community Action, ourselves and others, about funding for next year, and the Council’s intentions to move to a commissioning model from 2013/14, so 2012 becomes the preparatory “get your act together year”. This links to a parallel stream of work I have mentioned before, namely the sector’s own bid for the Transforming Local Infrastructure grant of potentially £600,000.

The good news is that the sector is moving quickly now to shape quite radical (though not new) proposals which have a chance of success because the £600,000 would ease the undoubted pain of transition.

However it will feel very different for the sector to become a contractor within a commissioning model, and there are in my mind two conditions which the sector has to address: first, that the infrastructure organizations have to become a consortium (like the Surrey Youth Consortium) to be able to bid against the likes of Capita and Serco, and secondly the sector has to see beyond just being commissioned to its wider role outside of being commissioned to assess need and to secure funding from social philanthropy and social finance.

Which brings me to the four social finance projects we’re trying to promote, and that HALOW had a really positive meeting with Surrey CC commissioners about moving out – county young people with disabilities into supported living in-county through HALOW’s work . It is a potential social finance loan if not a social impact bond. Very encouraging at last. We contributed to a Surrey’s Big Society report to the Surrey Strategic Partnership on Wednesday evening; interesting to note that West Sussex CC has already set up a fund to promote new social enterprises, as well as the same Big Society grants fund.

New Leader at Surrey CC  with Dr Povey standing down and Cllr David Hodge taking over. My Chairman and I were due to meet David Hodge last week in his capacity as Cabinet member for Finance, but the meeting was cancelled because of these changes - we will rearrange!   And my good colleague, Jean Roberts–Jones, CX of Surrey Community Action left yesterday to take up a new, and similar post in Eastleigh where she lives, and we wish her well.

The arrangements for the two public debates about “Young people and society “ – Guildford 21 October and Epsom 25 November are now in place and we are promoting widely, so that we can have a vibrant public discussion. No space to tell you about productive meetings with “Moo Moo Youth Marketing”(sic), or the Surrey 14-19 Partnership – more next week.

And finally England rugby continued to progress nicely against Rumania (ok their second team) but the game I have been apprehensive about is tomorrow 8.30 am ITV1 against Scotland. For the two of you not interested in the rugby, there is always a SCORCHIO week-end!!

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