Working with statutory bodies and the voluntary/community sector

  • Working with statutory bodies and the voluntary/community sector

"Working Together" - The Thanet Compact

A Compact is an agreement and way of working for use between statutory bodies and the voluntary/community sector in order to improve their working relationship for mutual advantage.  Thanet's Compact is known as "Working Together".   The statutory sector and voluntary/community sector share many of the same goals - a dedication to public life, inclusiveness and cohesive communities.  "Working Together" is a starting point for the development of inter-sector partnership working, based upon shared values and mutual respect.

The Compact has been successfully active in Thanet for over five years.  During this period a lot of positive progress has been made through statutory and third sector partnership.  By Working Together Compact partners share a common goal to achieve the best for Thanet's residents and it's community.  Working Together sees the sectors respecting each other as equal partners and provides us with a framework to endorse lucrative partnerships based upon respect, honesty and diversity.  It is vital for organisations to come together to create and inform policies, develop contacts and deliver services to the community.  Implementation of these commitments is a vital component of Working Together.

By being a signatory to "Working Together" the Council is showing it's commitment to the principles detailed in the document to help improve and sustain local services, and enrich the well-being of our residents and communities.

Implementing the Thanet Compact

The Thanet Compact Implementation Group (TCIG) was formed in 2006 to ensure that "Working Together" is more than just a document and really does improve working relationships between the Sectors. In 2008, the TCIG was awarded a highly commended certificate by The Commission for the Compact in the Local Compact of the Year category.

The Principles of "Working Together"

We all share a common set of principles at the Thanet Compact Implementation Group that we are fully committed to, as a way to work together to deliver real outcomes to our residents and our community:

  • Respect the differences between statutory bodies and third sector organisations;
  • Honesty in order to maintain transparency in partnership working which in turn builds stronger relationships;
  • Independence of the third sector is recognised by all of those involved.  Including their right to campaign and lobby, and to determine and manager their own affairs;
  • Diversity of the organisations involved has the ability to produce a thriving civil society, bringing innovation and choice through a multitude of opinion;
  • Equality and fairness for everyone, no matter what their background, is a fundamental goal for all;
  • Citizen Empowerment our goal is for everyone to work together to deliver changes that are built around our community and residents by asking for their opinions and needs;
  • Volunteering is recognised and appreciated by all as a vital part of community life.

There are three commitments within the "Working Together" document in which the statutory sector and voluntary/community sector have various commitments:

Policy Development

Due to the expertise that third sector organisations acquire from working at a grass roots level they have a greater understanding of the needs of their beneficiaries; because of this they are able to provide a different scope and effective answers to problems .  Through third sector involvement at the beginning of the process , statutory bodies can develop policies that are better able to meet the needs of residents and communities in Thanet.

This commitment is consistent with the Government's Code of Practice on Consultation published in July 2008 and the Cabinet Office Handbook "Better together:  improving consultation with the third sector" published in 2008.

Allocating Resources

This section is reflective of good practice in commissioning.  By working in partnership third sector and statutory bodies are able to deliver programmes that are built around the community and our residents, for example the success of the Safer Stronger Communities Fund programme that was run within the Margate Central and Cliftonville West wards.

This commitment has been written in conjunction with The Commission for the Compact's "Commissioning Guidance" published in February 2009 and "The Compact and Procurement Law Guidance" published in July 2009.

Advancing Equalities

Equality is for all, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender re-assignment.  Thanet is a more diverse area than ever before.  We believe it should be an aim to create a thriving community where there is a sense of belonging and opportunity for everyone.

"Working Together" understands the important role that the third sector can have in creating a more equal community.  A positive working relationship between statutory and third sectors can help meet the needs of residents as well as represent and reduce inequalities.

This part of "Working Together" outlines the commitments of how the sectors can work together to achieve their equality ambitions.

As of June 2014, Thanet Compact is undergoing a review and we will be working with those who are signatory to the Compact to ensure it is carried out fully and in accordance with the key principles of Compact.