Compact Week: Advocacy service wants more funds from Lottery

The Compact Advocacy Programme, which helps resolve disputes over how the Compact is applied, is seeking more money from the Big Lottery Fund to continue and extend its work.

At the moment the programme can only deal with the national Compact, which governs grants and contracts from central government departments and agencies. It has intervened in 30 cases, but funding runs out next year.

It is now applying to continue this work, but also to extend it to grants and contracts issued to the voluntary sector by local authorities and agencies under local Compact agreements.

More than 90 per cent of local authorities have signed - or are in the process of developing - a local compact with the voluntary sector, according to Millie Barret from the Compact Advocacy Programme, which is based at the NCVO.

"While the CAP has enjoyed some success at helping to improve Compact compliance at a national level, we are acutely aware that most statutory relationships are at a local level," said Barret.

At national level, the programme so far had revealed a lack of awareness of the Compact among non-departmental public bodies, she said. Some of the 30 cases have been fully resolved like Community Transport (see box, opposite page), others have not been successful (see box, below) and others are continuing.

In September, the High Court ruled that Leicester City Council should reinstate funding to six voluntary bodies that it had failed to consult with over cuts (Third Sector, 22 September).

A local Compact would have made court action unnecessary, according to the NCVO.

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