York CVS Bi annual Report
- Meeting of Children, Education and Communities Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Tuesday, 28 January 2020 5.30 pm (Item 47.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 47.
This is the bi-annual update report from York CVS on its activities between April and September 2019.
Members considered a report from York CVS that provided an update on their activity from April 2019 to September 2019.
The Chief Executive of York CVS was in attendance to present the report and she gave an overview of their practical support, fixed and flexible services and bespoke support that built strength and resilience across the sector particularly within local charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Members were made aware of their main core work and it was noted that:
· Since May 2019 a Funding and Development Officer had been in post and she had provided support and advice to 70 voluntary and community sector organisations.
· Voluntary and community sector forums continued to be well attended and they focussed on specific subject areas identified in York.
· Voluntary sector assemblies were held twice a year to allow York’s voluntary sector to start conversations and instigate social action towards some of the challenges faced in York.
· The Chief Executive continued to represent the voluntary and community sector on various key Partnership Boards, which allowed her to identify any issues that needed to be raised within the sector.
The Chief Executive highlighted the various issue based forums, focus groups and social action projects that had encouraged a more collaborative way of working across the whole sector. It was noted that the Ways to Wellbeing initiative linked the voluntary sector with primary care and that social prescribing had now been embedded across the whole of York. This model would now be tested across other services including the ambulance and Police service.
Members were also made aware of the organisation’s future areas of work and that funding for a voluntary centre was still ongoing.
The Chair of the Board of Trustees was in attendance to provide an update regarding the closure of Priory Street Nursery. He explained the background and highlighted the risks including the continuing deficit. Members were informed of the options the Board of Trustees considered, which included, to:
· transfer the nursery to a third party.
· change the way York CVS operated the nursery.
· close the nursery.
The Chair of the Board confirmed the Trustees, in November 2019, consulted with staff and parents/carers regarding the closure. Since then further meetings had taken place and an expression of interest had been received by a third party. Parents had also considered ways in which the nursery could operate, including the option for them to form a community interest company to manage the nursery. Members noted that the Board considered all the options and took the difficult decision that York CVS would no longer manage the nursery, leaving two options for the Board to consider at its next meeting on 12 February 2020.
Members raised concerns regarding the closure of the nursery and the Chair of the Board answered Members questions. It was also noted that:
· The Chief Executive would confirm if the Growing Green Spaces Advisory Group would welcome new members
· The Safe Places scheme had 19 venues registered so far across York and had also expanded away from the city centre to Vangarde. York CVS were keen to develop the scheme and would welcome any suitable location suggestions from Members. The Chair agreed that this should be disseminated to all Councillors.
· The themes of the forums were influenced by issues raised from discussions at the various Partnership Boards.
Members thanked the Chief Executive and the Chair of the Board for their update and hoped a suitable resolution regarding the nursery would be agreed. Members also agreed that the early years provision across the city did require further scrutiny.
Resolved: That the report be noted.
Reason: To update the Committee on the activity of York CVS.