Adur Voluntary Action

A member of the Adur and Worthing communities

About Adur Voluntary Action

Adur Voluntary Action (AVA) is an independent movement of voluntary, community and charitable groups and a registered charity founded in 1959. Our members work co-operatively to support one another in mutual aid, self-help, and the building of warm, trusting networks of activity.

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Latest posts

Happy New |Year from West Sussex Libraries

See this link from West Sussex Library Service:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWSCC/bulletins/1d01b2e

Happy New Year from AVA

Our New Year's Resolutions are:

- To help everyone to build better lives

- To look ahead and be prepared

And a very happy, creative and interesting New Year to One and All

The heart of Adur’s community

The heart of Adur’s community

AVA is locally-owned community actionOur members give and share
  • Their local knowledge, energy, experience and skill
  • Their friendship and skills
  • Their interest in to co-operation rather than competion
  • Their support for their local community
  • Their trust and faith in one another
Our members receive
  • Friendship and belonging
  • Mutual support, ideas, skill share and advice from other members
  • Advice and support for their organisations
  • Adur Voice monthly
  • Access to the https://adur.interests.me/ online resource
  • Shared co-operative ownership of AVA

Inquiry into care home provider following residents’ deaths

Police investigate care business holding WSCC contracts worth millions

Sussex Health Care investigation

See press reports below:

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/15577824.Inquiry_into_care_home_provider_following_residents____deaths/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4946598/Police-investigate-care-home-firm-12-residents-die.html

Directors/consultants to this business include the former deputy leader of West Sussex County Council, Peter Catchpole, whose cabinet roles have included social care responsibilities, and Amanda Rogers, their former Director of Adult Services. WSCC contracts with the business “are estimated to be worth millions'.

The business website:

http://www.sussexhealthcare.org/policy-group.html

Sussex Health Care state that they are co-operating fully with investigations by the Care Quality Commission and police. Er, well, to quote someone from a different sphere of work, 'They would say that, wouldn't they?'

Non-Domestic rates in Adur

Well done, Adur Council, for bringing back management of the non-domestic rating system under their own control. AVA is happy to record here that the service we received from the previous providers over some five years was appalling, and that was if you managed to get anyone to answer the phone.

We should think that all local businesses and charities are grateful for this "relief" from incompetence, and wonder why it was ever contracted out in the first place.

Voluntary action: a way forward A policy framework for the common good - NOT

So civil society exists to prevent the growth of too large a state? We don't know where to start in critiquing this analysis . . . a shameless apologia for 30 years of growing inequality, and incorporation of civil society as a fig-leaf to veil destruction of the concept of public service and welfare state. But read on, those with tough stomachs.

Voluntaryaction: a way forward A policy framework for the common good

ProfessorSir Stuart Etherington

https://www.cass.city.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2017/december/voluntary-action-a-way-forward

Executivesummary

This reportsets out some ideas about how the growth of voluntary associations can beencouraged. The report is based on a fundamental belief that associationalbehaviour is generally a force for good. Associations are vehicles for trustand giving. They create community capacity. People and communities should begiven as much control as possible as well as the assets that they require.Civil society, both through the services it can provide and through civicvoice, is a bulwark against an overweening state. The 2016 referendum on EUmembership revealed many things about the United Kingdom, not least a profoundsense of disconnection between increasingly disempowered communities anddecision makers. The national debt is almost £2 trillion and rising. Demographicswill increase the demand on already fully stretched services. Raising taxes bythe amount needed to fill the yawning gap would lead to a flight of companiesand the more wealthy; indeed, the tax take may fall. The answer surely has tobe a renaissance of personal responsibility. We should be in no doubt about thesize of that change. Crudely put, civil society has to double in size or more.Clearly in the short term this is impossible, but across several decades thereis potential to do so. The issue is not, as it has been in the past, a binaryone: more or less state funding versus more or less personal funding. It is amove towards something new: a shared role, with the state and citizens sharingthe burdens of civilised provisions for those of us who need it. The whole maythus become much greater than the parts. This, coupled with the innovationrequired as demand for services rises and the willingness of the public to payvia the tax system falls, makes voluntary action and civil association of growingimportance. Why? Because civil association builds connections and creates asense of belonging. It enables the sharing of problems and the development ofjoint solutions as well as more civic engagement in democracy and publicpolicy. It connects those with power to those without, and, importantly, buildstrust in an increasingly untrustworthy world. This report is structured aroundthree themes, all of which set out ideas: some strategic and some tactical.They will, I hope, provide some stimulus for policy makers and for the widerdebate on the future of civil society being considered by Julia Unwin in herlonger-term review, which will report in 2019.

Sir Stuart proposesthat the government use dormant assets to stimulate philanthropy, and permanentlyendow local charitable foundations. This new capital fund would provide alasting basis for fuelling community action by massively increasing the assetsand investment income of local charitable foundations, which could grant fundlocal projects. Sir Stuart also proposes using dormant assets to givecommunities the resources they need to take over local buildings or assets ofcommunity interest.

Other recommendations include:

§ Undertake a rootand branch review of the social-investment industry so that it works better tosupport the charities and voluntary organisations that it was intended to makemore sustainable

§ Futureproof andsimplify the complex legal and regulatory framework for organisations thatexist to benefit the public (charities, social enterprises and mutual), to takeinto account the numerous legal forms that are now available and to reduce thebureaucracy and inflexibility many now suffer from

§ The governmentshould give a kick-start to volunteering, particularly for those who volunteeras charity trustees, by renewing its support for statutory time-off forvolunteering

Sir StuartEtherington commented:

“The issue is nolonger about more or less state funding, versus more or less charitable givingor volunteering. It is a move towards something new: a society where the stateand its citizens share the responsibility for supporting those who need it.

“We cannot simplyrely on existing ways of doing things. The answer surely has to be arenaissance of personal responsibility and we should be in no doubt about thesize of that change.

“Crudely put, civilsociety has to double in size or more. Clearly, in the short term this isimpossible, but across several decades there is potential to do so.”

The pamphlet, whichexplores civil society’s institutional, financial and participation frameworks,is designed to stimulate discussion among policy makers and within the sectorahead of the wider debate on the future of civil society being considered byJulia Unwin, whose report will be out in 2019.

Voluntary action: a way forward ©copyright Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness published November 2017

https://www.cass.city.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2017/december/voluntary-action-a-way-forward

Congratulations Adur District Council!

A weekly council tax charge for some of Adur’s poorest residents will not be introduced, senior councillors decided on Tuesday.

AVA extends its congratulations to Adur District Councillors on this courageous decision. Perhaps it's evidence that our local Members are now asserting themselves, taking back control from chief officers, and the Adur-Worthing arrangement, and putting the interests of their own electorate first? Let's all hope so!

A library glossary

A library glossary #3

by Courtesy of Alan Wylie

Following on from my original glossary and it's update post here's another instalment of library spin and doublespeak.

Lending Locker - what 'LiveWire' (the Trust you can't trust) propose to replace some of Warrington's libraries with, "it's Amazon Jim but not as we know it".

Digital Playgrounds - an Arts Council funded programme worth £3.9m which they claim will get disadvantaged kids expressing their creativity through technology.

Library Guardian - what the supervisor of a certain volunteer-led 'library' calls himself.

"ongoing changes by library authorities" - a phrase used by the Libraries Taskforce to describe what others call cuts/closures. Cowardly and complicit doublespeak.

The Engagement Team - not an elite bunch of NASA scientists in charge with docking a shuttle to a spacestation but the name given to Librarians in the new all singing all dancing multi-million pound Chester 'Storyhouse'.

Community Partnered Libraries - 'libraries' without paid and trained library staff in Surrey.

Library Carpentry - not making shelves with users but something to do with data.

"Connecting Communities" - what Coventry Council calls its policy of cutting/closing libraries and community centres.

Satellite Library - an unstaffed bookdrop in Lancashire.

Partnership Libraries - what Barnet Council calls a volunteer/community org-led 'library' that's open for 15hrs a week, users/campaigners call it a staffless book exchange that's hardly ever open.

'Innovative' - what Swindon recently called their proposals to close 11 libraries and what the DCMS/Councillors/library establishment commonly call anything that fits with their agenda to cut, co-locate, privatise, commercialise and amateurise libraries. (can be substituted with '21st Century')

"Changing the narrative" - a plea to campaigners from the UK library establishment to stop sharing news stories etc about library cuts/closures, and stop putting these in the context of a savage ideological austerity agenda, after all if we keep saying that libraries are failing then they will fail! Seen by many campaigners to be insulting, spin and propoganda.

"More than just a library" - what some volunteers and councillors think they'll achieve by turning library buildings into book-IT/exchanges/community centres and substituting paid/trained/qualified library staff. It's generally regarded by staff/camapigners to be higly suspect and insulting and is just another example of a complete ignorance of what libraries are and have always been.

'Always-on generation' - a phrase used by a company (Axiell) flogging tech to libraries, not quite as annoying as 'Digital Natives' but nearly!

Hub Activators - What the new 'Community Learning Hub' (once Upper Norwood Library) hopes to employ.

Micro-Libraries - 200 books in a Cornish pub.

'Hub & Spoke Model' - a model of library provision in which folks in city centres get shiny hub libraries and the rest get 'satelitte' libraries with decreased hrs/staff/resources.

Healthy Living Centre - a proposed gym with some books run by a so-called 'Social Entereprise' (uses 0-hrs contracts & forced Greenwich library staff to take strike action) in Lambeth.

Libraries Unlimited South West - a spun-out privatised 'mutual' library service in Devon chaired by someone with a "Stalinist agenda", according to a Guardian article!

The Answers People - what Essex CC call their online (cut) Reference Library service.

"In this context libraries will act as creative incubators, centres for social innovations and intercultural dialogue facilitators" - from the 'Public Libraries 2020' website. No one really knows what this means but it sounds great when you're talking to Politicians, Cllrs and other people that don't use libraries.

"a measure of library provision" - a reduced library space in Walton (Liverpool)

Neighbourhood Centre - apparently a "community focussed multi-functional building" in Lancashire, really means a shoe-horned collection of cut services, including a 'library presence', under one roof.

Library Fundamentalists - what Kate Andrews and the Institute of Economic Affairs call people who want to protect and promote public libraries. (Neoliberal Chancers - what people who want to protect and promote public libraries call Kate Andrews and the IEA)

"Safeguarding" - what Staffs CC call selling Lichfield Library.

Re-imagining - what Birmingham Council claim to be doing to their library service whilst users/staff/campaigners/unions claim it should be another word ending in "ing".

Maintaining - what Barnet Council claim to be doing to their library service whilst users/staff/campaigners/unions claim it should be another word ending in "ing".

Libraries Extra - what Brighton & Hove Council call a 'library' which doesn't have any staff and denies access to unaccompanied U18's (see my post on 'open+')

Library Access Points (LAP's) - A volunteer-led 'library' type of thing with a computer in Cambridgeshire.

The Word - "a state of the art, new library and digital media centre" in South Tyneside. (3D Printer mentioned)

Hybrid Library - A library building in North Yorkshire containing one paid/trained member of library staff surrounded by an army of volunteers. This sole library worker will manage the library and supervise/train the volunteers as well as offering 12-15 hrs of professional support to the partly cast-adrift local volunteer-led "community library", it's claimed that the job description contains the words "superhuman powers" and "stress assessment"!

"a local non-statutory library offer" - Lambeth Labour (the co-op council!) bollocks for a volunteer-led 'library'.

"alternative delivery models" - a phrase beloved of both the SCL & the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, it basically means offloading library services to suspect Social Enterprises, mock mutuals, Trusts you can't trust, blacklisting building firms and Baptist churches!

Customer Experience Supervisor - someone who works for the University of West London Library Services helping students (not customers) and doing a bit of shelving.

Express Library Service - not a library aboard a train but a plan/ploy by Birmingham Council to extend its Central library's opening hours by introducing self-serve kiosks that speak 70 different languages or something like that!?! (anyway they're not re-employing the culled staff)

Library Ambassador - someone in Northamptonshire who's daft/naive enough to pay twice for their library service.

Rightsourcing - can't even bring myself to explain this one!

NAVCA AGM 2017 Refections from AVA

#NAVCAFutureForward Reflections on NAVCA AGM 5 December

Panel (thank you Bob Kerslake and Julia Unwin) felt CVS work shd not be procured by competitive tender, as it’s part of each community and not a service delivered to them. The “elective affinity” between local public sector, public service ethos, and the CVS (as a local democratically owned and controlled membership body)needs to be reconstructed. Probably by default, it’s to the movement that the responsibility of spearheading this process falls. NAVCA should after this conference be leading in that. Perhaps NAVCA colleagues could consider adding the Coin dialogues into their write-up of Twitter, Facebook etc?

A linked key theme to emerge was the need to define “local” to match the above, and to challenge widespread misleading and politically manipulative use of the term. Faith groups emerged as good networks with which to engage, because they are still morally driven and human. I’d add the co-operative movement to that.

I do agree about the Lottery, Big Local, and their aspiration to by-pass the established local sector (and often, local authorities) in favour of direct engagement. In our experience that route is absolutely fraught with problems, not least, in its failure to research the history of local efforts to do the same thing. It used to be called "community development"....

On the issue of unintentional disempowerment, AVA's model is to develop projects with local specialist groups, projects that we jointly own and deliver for the duration. This means that we identify specific CVS assets that we can offer as our part of the bargain (remember Bob Kerslake mentioning community buildings as assets, but also, networks and contacts, skills, expertise, local practice knowledge etc) We no longer adhere to the "advise, support then withdraw" model as we operate directly as an active part of our community, but normally, only taking on things when we have a suitable locally-governed partner.

On reflection, this is particularly important after hearing Julia Unwin's response to Jake's question, that there is no public policy or funding "mainstream" with which we might aspire to connect, to achieve sustainability for our key projects. Truly, for those into Joseph Conrad, this sounded like our nation's own current "Heart of Darkness".

Perhaps NAVCA colleagues could consider adding the Coin dialogues into their write-up of Twitter, Facebook etc?

CVSs are vanishing rapidly and like NAVCA surviving on reserves. A Feisty campaign is urgent on these matters if our movement is to survive to lead in challenge and change driven by human values and good evidence.

Adrian x

AdurVA

the story of Graham Doswell, a fisherman from Eastbourne who, with NEF, has led an effort to secure a better future for the inshore fishing community, local residents and visitors.

The story of Graham Doswell, a fisherman from Eastbourne who, with NEF, has led an effort to secure a better future for the inshore fishing community, local residents and visitors.

http://action.neweconomics.org/page/m/2edbda9a/7ebe64c3/6e7e80e7/5bd026f/376912723/VEsE/

Sadly, too late for Worthing.