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Research indicates 88% of local areas support the Compact

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Wed, 17/08/2011

Compact Voice has published the results of a comprehensive survey into the state of local Compacts. The survey is the first in an ongoing annual commitment to improve understanding of – and engagement with – local Compacts across England.

The survey covered 74% of local Compacts across England, and received responses from both voluntary and community sector and statutory sector representatives.

The results provide a mixed, but encouraging, picture across the country.

Key findings include:

Overall, 88% of respondents (from both the voluntary and community and statutory sectors) agreed that “the Compact is important and that effort needs to be made to implement it in full”, with 60% agreeing strongly. The figure for statutory sector respondents was 82% (90% for voluntary and community sector) indicating that there is a strong cross-sector belief in the importance of the Compact.

Whilst there is strong cross-sector belief in the Compact, the survey has highlighted the need for strong leadership on the Compact from both local and national government. 43% of respondents felt that leadership from senior officers would have the biggest impact on improving the Compact in their area; greater than the need for more resources for their Compact (32.6%).

Tom Elkins, Compact Voice Manager, said:

“The problem does not appear to be a failure to see the importance of the Compact. The survey findings demonstrates that the contrary is true.

However, the difference in perceptions between the sectors is concerning, particularly about how local Compacts and partnerships are faring. Many responses suggested that the problem is one of leadership and awareness, both locally and nationally. We will be using the findings from this survey to identify priority areas and key issues, which are acting as a barrier to better partnership working”.

The survey also makes reference to responses to Freedom of Information Act requests issued by Compact Voice to 351 local authorities in England. The requests sought to establish whether local authorities were making cuts to voluntary and community sector organisations in proportion with their own reduction in settlement from central government. The report features a break down of this – and other information about funding cuts – across the 9 regions of England.

For more information about the report and the results of the survey, visit www.compactvoice.org.uk/survey2011.