Future investment in community support – RBC consultation open until 25 July 2021

Article date
22 June 2021
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

Reading Borough Council has launched a consultation on ‘future investment in community support’:

  • Voluntary and community groups have until 25 July 2021 to give their views.
  • You can complete an online form here.
  • Contact Clare.Muir@reading.gov.uk (Policy and Voluntary Sector Manager at RBC) if you have any queries, would like to receive a hard copy of the consultation questionnaire or require additional support to understand or complete the questionnaire.

What RBC says about this consultation:

Since 2016, the council has focused on ‘narrowing the gap’ between different groups of residents. A number of voluntary and community organisations are now delivering services under funding agreements with the council which are aimed at tackling poverty, promoting wellbeing, and supporting thriving communities. These agreements come to an end in May 2022, and we are interested in views from third sector groups about what we should invest in as part of our next funding round, and how. Potentially, this could include a mix of contracts and grant awards of varying length.

We realise that there is much more to do before everyone in our town enjoys equal life chances. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some areas of unfairness which were there already, and made other problems worse. We will continue to work with our partners on these issues, and the funding made available to community groups is only part of the story. However, we need focus the funding we have where it can make the biggest difference, and award this in a fair and transparent way.

We also need to decide how long our next set of funding agreements should last. Longer agreements make it easier for organisations to plan, but we need to have regular opportunities to review priorities to make sure we’re still investing in what matters most.

We are asking voluntary community and faith sector organisations for their views to help us plan the next stage. We will also be looking at other data which has been gathered on health, wellbeing and social inclusion in Reading, and what the organisations we currently commission have told us about how their services have been used.

Complete the consultation online

On 14 July an engagement event with local voluntary and community organisations was held online. Here is the YouTube link to watch a video of the event: https://youtu.be/K19kprJ_qMk

The presentation slides from the event can be downloaded from the consultation page (go to the bottom of the page to find the slides): https://consult.reading.gov.uk/css/investing-in-community-support/

Finally, a reminder that the deadline for submissions is 25 July 2021.