That Wokingham Borough Council’s Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.
The Executive considered a report relating to a proposed Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy which sets out how the Council wish to deliver services, and the role of the voluntary and community sector in improving the quality of life for the Borough’s communities.
The Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services went through the report and acknowledged the importance of the voluntary sector in the response to Covid-19 where, at very short notice, groups of charities and voluntary groups had assisted in the delivery of crucial services for the Borough’s residents.
Councillor Margetts stated that the Strategy, which had been designed with Involve, had been produced before the recent crisis when, even then, it had been acknowledged that the Council did not have the resources to meet all the needs. Therefore the purpose of the Strategy was to work with the voluntary sector to encourage and incentivise it to assist in those areas which the Council did not have the resources to cover. Previously the voluntary sector had been funded to deliver a block of services but this emphasis had changed to one where individual services would be commissioned, targets set and outcomes monitored. It was noted that the available budget was £1.25m per annum which was currently provided to 22 voluntary sector bodies through 27 contracts.
In addition Councillor Margetts drew Members’ attention to the aspiration and aim of creating a new hub for the voluntary sector in central Wokingham, which would be based upon the successful model in Bracknell, and also the fact that a 3% increase in funding was being proposed for all the voluntary groups that were currently supported by the Council.
RESOLVED: That Wokingham Borough Council’s Voluntary and Community
Sector Strategy, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.