Solihull partnership and Defra among Compact winners

Compact Plus for Solihull wins Local Compact of the Year and Defra takes national prize

The Compact Plus for Solihull and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs were among the winners at last night's annual Compact awards.

Sir Bert Massie, Commissioner for the Compact, announced the winners at a ceremony in London, held during Compact Week.

Compact Plus for Solihull won the Local Compact of the Year award for its attempts to reinvigorate a local Compact agreement that was largely ignored.

"The original Compact didn't have the credibility of the vast majority of the third sector," said Faisal Hussain, head of community and voluntary relations at Solihull Council, who accepted the award.

"Rather than resurrect the old document, after a consultation between the voluntary, statutory and private sectors we came up with one that has been more widely accepted and has led to more external funding by showing we have well-developed partnerships that can work together."

Defra won the Compact Award for Excellence at a National Level for its third sector strategy, which included establishing a third sector advisory board and a social enterprise partnership.

West Sussex Compact won the Compact Award for innovation, and the One Hull local strategic partnership won the Commissioner's Award for exceptional achievement.

Jaqui Ball, head of strategy and partnership at Arun District Council, was named Compact Champion of the Year.

Massie said the commission would run a publicity campaign for the Compact next year and would publish more research reports to gather "hard information and research on what works and what doesn't".

He also confirmed the delayed refreshed national Compact would be published before Christmas along with implementation guidance, which he thought would allay fears from community groups in particular that the shorter, draft version was less relevant to them.

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