Sector obsessed with ‘top table’

People working in the voluntary sector are too obsessed with
getting places on local strategic partnership management boards,
according to an adviser to the government’s neighbourhood renewal

Tricia Zipfel, NRU senior community adviser, told delegates that
they were “too fixated on the number of seats at the top

She added that it was work in the community that underpinned the
LSP that mattered. She also said that the community empowerment
fund, which is for setting up LSPs, was “peanuts” in comparison
with the money local authorities had and which voluntary and
community organisations may want to access.

But John Routledge, chief executive of the umbrella body Urban
Forum, insisted that the money provided by the community
empowerment and neighbourhood renewal funds was significant as the
voluntary sector was rarely able to influence the way councils’
budgets were spent. He said that the NRF had “thrown down the
gauntlet” to councils for voluntary service to become involved
before someone else did.

However, Zipfel acknowledged that the community empowerment fund
was “being commandeered by local authorities”.

Delegates also warned of an increasingly high level of burnout
among CVS directors struggling to cope with the increasing number
of government initiatives without the funds to recruit more

Zipfel said that it was likely that many of the problems to do with
infrastructure would be addressed through the implementation of the
Treasury’s review.

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