Third Sector Task Group

Third Sector Task Group
SCVO Press Release
September 2008

The full membership of the Task Group is as follows:

Harry McGuigan (CoSLA), Alison Elliot (SCVO), John Swinney (Scottish Government), Tracey Slaven, (Director Third Sector Division, Scottish Government), Alan Dickson (Chief Executive, Capability Scotland), Catherine Hughson (CVS Shetland), David Anderson (Chief Executive, South Ayrshire Council, SOLACE), Alec Nicol, (Deputy Leader, Borders Council)

A new high-level group has been created to help improve coordination of the work of Third Sector organisations in Scotland, Scotland’s 32 local authorities and the Scottish Government.

Creation of this new body is a first for Scotland, and represents a new way of doing business for government and the third sector. It draws on the success of the concordat announced last year between the Scottish Government and local authorities, and aims to help develop a clearer and stronger set of relationships.

The Task Group has representation from the Third Sector, Local Government, and Scottish Government and of Local Authority officials. The group is co-chaired by SCVO Convener, Alison Elliot, and CoSLA Spokesperson on Community Well-being & Safety, Cllr Harry McGuigan.

SCVO Convener Alison Elliot said:

“This new ‘task group’ is an historic first – it coordinates the work of the Scottish Government with that of Local Authorities and the public sector to ensure that the third sector is supported and developed.

“This will ensure that the voice of charities and third sector organisations is heard at the highest levels of government, both in Scotland, and locally. The third sector has a massive role in delivering high-quality services and projects on behalf of government. This new group will ensure we can maximise that potential. ”

CoSLA Spokesperson Harry McGuigan said

‘Local Government has always recognised the value and importance of the voluntary sector and this has been enhanced further through a more strategic engagement with the third sector under the Concordat.

The establishment of this ‘task group’ is a very positive step forward and is of particular importance as in 2009 the Single Outcome Agreements will be signed off by Community Planning Partnerships. The third sector is a key contributor to the Community Planning Partnerships and it is our hope that this ‘task group’ will improve and enhance that engagement.’

Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“An enterprising Third Sector has a key role to play in providing opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increasing sustainable economic growth.

“That’s why it’s vital that local government taps into the energy and expertise of the Third Sector, which is often best-placed to connect with individuals the public sector finds hardest to reach.

“The new task group is very much in the spirit of our historic Concordat and new, productive relationship with local government and I look forward to seeing it develop.”

For further information contact Peter McColl on 0131 474 6179
Notes to Editors:

1) The new Task Group will work across four main areas:

– Partnership – focusing on how government and third sector organisations can co-operate effectively to deliver services in the new environment of Single Outcome Agreements, Compacts and Community Planning Partnerships

– Funding relationships – developing more effective and sustainable funding for the third sector

– Building capacity – increasing opportunities for Third Sector organisations to develop their skills and knowledge, through collaboration and direct support

– Monitoring change – ensuring that there is evidence to demonstrate the contribution of the third sector to Single Outcome Agreements, Community Planning and to measure the turnover of the social economy