Independence Syndicate content

Independence in mind

The Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector launched their fourth and final report yesterday. The launch event revealed a lot of really interesting - and really opposing - opinions on the value of an independent sector, and the degree to which this is being threatened by things like the Lobbying Act and ‘gagging clauses’ in contracts.

Some of the coverage of the event in sector press focused on the Panel’s recommendations for a Compact with ‘teeth’.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about working on the Compact, it’s that one of its key strengths is that it is a mutually beneficial, voluntary agreement.

Briefing: Guidance on maintaining the independence of local Healthwatch


Compact Voice, Healthwatch England and Regional Voices have published guidance on how local Healthwatch can maintain independence despite being directly funded by local authorities.

The guidance stresses the importance of independence and local Healthwatch maintaining a 'critical friend' approach with funders, and provides an overview of the tools available to ensure independence is upheld.

Stockton: Empowering the Voluntary and Community Sector

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At a time when many local authorities were making cuts to the voluntary and community sector and infrastructure groups, Stockton Borough Council was doing the opposite. The VCS were fully involved in a consultation to review the funding structures and support packages available from the council, with their views taken on board to make sure the process was done in a fair and Compact compliant manner.

Independence Matters

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This guide aims to increase understanding in both the voluntary and community and statutory sectors about the importance and benefits of independence and how independence can be threatened.

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