A tense week with lots of work towards the Transforming Local Infrastructure bid which is going well and setting out proposals which, if accepted by all partners, would be genuinely transformative, recognizing the difficulties of overcoming our local prejudices in a two tier county. Politics, which is what this is the art of the possible and practicable, so the results may not be an Ideal, but will be transformative and progressive.
This morning has seen a parallel process with Surrey CC discussing with its beneficiaries how best to reduce its grants to the sector by up to 30%, and how to prepare on both sides, commissioner and contractor, for commissioning from 2013/14 onwards. All this being relevant to Surrey Youth Focus as an infrastructure organisation.
An underlying issue for the sector is to see beyond the binary relationship of central/local government as commissioner, and voluntary sector as contractor, to a wider triangulation that recognizes the contribution of corporates / social finance/ social philanthropy. I am being invited up to a Ministerial event later this month with a few others to discuss exactly this - more afterwards.
I have also been busy promoting our public debate in Guildford on 21 October at 1.00pm (see website) about Young people and society.
Part of my tension this week has been that I have become a grandfather for the third time, but the baby was early and weighs just 3lbs 3oz. She stopped breathing twice on Wednesday. It is amazing what the NHS can do in critical care. The baby seems ok now. More rugby ( England v. France tomorrow) and 10 friends to dinner – I am cooking as my wife has been pretty busy this week with other grandchildren. So I am hoping a difficult week will end with a jolly time…off to buy the wine!