ICNC Minutes 10June 2015
Mike Sherriff Voluntary Action Islington (Chair)
Chris TaylorVoluntary Action Islington
Colin AdamsOctopus Community Centres
Katy FattuhiCreative Islington
Ruth Hayes Advice Network (Chair)
Phill WatsonManor Gardens
Jean SmithIslington Children and young People’s Voluntary Sector Forum
Ros MillerIslington Faiths Forum & Mental Health and Poverty Networking Forum (Vice-Chair)
Jane ChambersAge UK Islington
Aisha ForbesIslington BME Forum
Ken KanuHelp On Your Doorstep
Mark BrennanHomelessness Network
Liz MercerIslington Carers Provider Forum
1. Previous minutes and matters arising
Corrections to the previous minutes were noted: on page two, it is the London Borough of Islington that is bidding for funds from the GLA and London Councils; on page three, the 24 April suicide prevention event to review pathways was commissioned by Public Health, not the IMHPNF; on page four, the crime and safety issues of most concern to the community are the deaths of young people in the Borough and the increase generally in youth violence.
Action: CT to send reminder for ICN members to advise MS of any issues with council procurement.
Members were advised that the request for a voluntary sector representative to be appointed to the Health and Well-Being Board has not been accepted.
Learning from the stop and search clinic may be shared. The people running it areopen to developing some work on policy out of it, with the voluntary sector.
2. ICN Update
As the Advising Islington Together closing event will not now happen until the Autumn, it was noted that the welfare reform research report will be launched at a separate event.
3. Voluntary Sector Conference
It was confirmed that 134 people have booked to attend the conference. Nine workshops and stalls from key funders have been arranged so far. ICN members may be asked to help out on the day.
4. Policy: LBI / VCS roundtable feedback; new government
It was reported that there were no specific proposals from LBIbrought to the roundtable, contrary toexpectations. However, there was discussion of the proposals from the ICN workshop.The current meeting format will be dropped, and instead Cllr. Shaikh will attend ICN meetings.The borough were concerned about some issues where there is a high level of spending in Islington and interested in approaches, involving the voluntary sector, that might reduce this. It was proposed that there should be a workshop about mental health issues.
Action: MS to chase LBI for notes from roundtable meeting.
The new LBIVCS strategy may be presented at the VCS Sub-committee in July.
Action: MS to talk to Pete Courtie and/or Lela Kogbara about VCS input into the development of the strategy.
Action:ICN representatives to arrange a meeting with Cllr. Shaikh to discuss:
- VCS strategy consultation
- her role attending ICN meetings
- cross-cutting themes
- amental health workshop, including proposals from ICN on when and where it will happen, and who will be invited.
Members discussed the likely impact of the new government’s policies on the borough. It can be expected that there will be less funding from central government, while the population is rising and residents are in general getting poorer, and so statutory and voluntary services will become less comprehensive. The benefit cap will particularly affect in Islington. The requirement to prove immigration status to access services will lead to more people living ‘hidden’ lives.Sales of social housing will reduce the overall quality of remaining social housing stock.It was agreed that a strong case can be made that the VCS provides the best value solution for mitigating the impact of these policies.
5. Funding: update on ESF; potential visit to successful consortium
Members were informed that Building Better Opportunities, the Big Lottery Fund/European Social Fund programme has launched. The first tranche of funding will be for projects relating to BAME women, intermediate labour market health and disability and carers. The second tranche will be for projects on mental health, lone parents, refugees, and Severe and Multiple Disadvantage. Projects will run for three and a half years and require cross-borough work. Islington is grouped in a‘central London’ sub-region. It is expected that there may be opportunities for the VCS to partner funded organisations to deliver employment coaching.
Preliminary research into an ICN visit to a successful consortium, with possible support through the BIG Assist programme, was noted.
6. VCS procurement action plan
It was agreed to lobby for VCS representation on LBI commissioning panels, as has happened with Children’s Services.
Action: to raise in meeting with Cllr. Shaikh.
7. Forums Feedback
CI – Conversation with LBI about managing a creative hub for them is ongoing, as is work on the feasibility of that role. Some work is being done on marketingthe cultural sector and tourism. Fundraising advice surgeries have been arranged for members.
VAI – The Volunteer of the Year Award has been launched. A networking event for trustees was successful. The capacity building project for children’s organisationshas been extended to March 2016.
Action: CT to circulate report on the trustees event when available.
Octopus – The Community Hubs are running many health and wellbeing programmes. The network intends to arrange to meet Cllr. Shaikh regularly.Community Centre week begins on the 19 July. The Community Hubs want to raise their profile with council officers.
IFF – Assemblies are being booked for Peace Week and are expected to reach 5000 people. The Forum is doing a lot of work around community engagement in Islington at the moment. An Inter Faith Lecture & Debate in partnership with London Metropolitan University is planned for 17th November '15 with the theme "How can Faith Communities respond to Disaffection and Violence among Young People." The forum is doing more community safety work and contributing a lot to the SNB.
BME Forum – The forum, in partnership with Octopus, Islington Somali Community, Islington Bangladesh Association and Choices London,has submitted a bid for an employment support project, using the LBI coaching model, to Trust for London.The Samira project has arranged a first meeting of an Islington BME women’s network. The forum is working on a school’s project with LBI to make education more inclusive as part of the Prevent programme. The forum will restructure by September and AFwill becomea trustee.
Phill –Manor Gardens is holding an event in July.
CYP – The forum is organising awomen’s conference on 3 November,which will be open to the wider sector. ShamiChakrabatiis booked to speak. The next full forum meeting will be on 30 June.
IMHPNF –The forum’s next meeting will be on the 12 June.
IAA –Funding to the BLF project ends next month. RH is attending a meeting at the cabinet office on successful collaborations which may yield fast track re-funding of the project.The CAB has changed its phone system so that calls are answered across a consortium of London CABs.The alliance is considering contributing to an employment manifesto for the mayoral elections, particularly to address the issues for migrants.
8. Community Chest update
Members were reminded that the Community Chest panel has not met since the last ICN meeting, but will do so next week. LBI has confirmed that the Community Chest grant fund will continue.
9. Safer Neighbourhood Board
It was reported that the SNB is growing. Its priorities are young people, crime prevention and reduction, and community engagement. The next meeting will be in July and is the AGM. The presentation of information by MOPAC has been questioned by a member of the SNB and it will be altered to be more user-friendly as a result.
10. AOB; future meetings
Action: CT to share information on the free courses City and Islington College is offering until early July.