Manifesto outlines vision for the Welsh third sector

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action has launched a manifesto in advance of May's Welsh Assembly elections calling for the voluntary sector to have more say in policy making and service provision.

The document, called Civil Society, Civil Space - Connecting With People and Communities, says the sector should play a bigger part in involving people and communities in its work.

The WCVA will promote the manifesto at the Welsh party political conferences this spring.

It is particularly concerned that Local Service Boards, the new mechanism for determining local funding priorities in Wales, should recognise the value of charities. Phil Jarrold, deputy chief executive of the WCVA, said the sector must get "full and equal" membership of the boards.

Proposals to introduce the boards are currently out to consultation.

Jarrold is hopeful that they will involve the voluntary sector more than Local Area Agreements do in England.

"We're more confident because we have more developed partnership arrangements," he said.

The manifesto also calls for the assembly to create a fund to build the voluntary sector's capacity to provide public services.

Other demands include extra funding for community transport in rural and peripheral areas, as well as the establishment of social capital funds to support more small-scale community action.

The WCVA also wants the assembly to commit at least 2 per cent of European Social Fund monies to a small grants programme to support community-led voluntary activity.

Other goals in the manifesto include persuading the assembly to "fund Welsh people to volunteer at the 2012 Olympics".

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