On Wednesday 2nd May representatives of Shropshire’s voluntary and community sector met with Tracey Crouch MP, minister for civil society at Westminster. They were accompanied by Councillor Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, and Daniel Kawczynski MP.
Led by Tracey Crouch MP, the Government is currently consulting on the development of a new strategy for Civil Society. To date, Shropshire’s voluntary sector representatives are the only voluntary sector representatives to meet with the Minister to raise issues and offer thoughts on the developing civil society strategy.
Representing Shropshire’s VCS at the meeting were: Chris Child, Chair of the Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (and Chief Executive of Energize, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin); Nicola McPherson (Vice Chair of the Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (and Chief Officer of Mayfair Community Centre); and Jackie Jeffrey, VCS Assembly Board Member (and Chief Executive of Citizen’s Advice Shropshire).
Speaking on behalf of the voluntary sector representatives, Chris Child said:
“We had some really good feedback concerning the work we have been doing with Shropshire Council. The Minister was pleased to hear about the close working relationship between Shropshire Council and Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly. She recognised how important this relationship is to enable the delivery of preventative services and to work to build and retain resilient communities. The Minister explained that she really values the voluntary sector, particularly small charities and was interested to hear about the Assembly’s current plans to engage more widely through the planning of events around Shropshire starting in Market Drayton and Craven Arms during Small Charities Week. We will be advertising via Eventbrite for anyone interesting in attending”
“We hope all local voluntary and community groups and organisations feel able to join the VCS Assembly and benefit from the information sharing and mutual support it offers. We offered Shropshire as a rural test bed for any collaborative local authority and voluntary sector working under the new Civil Society Strategy.”
Speaking following the visit, Councillor Joyce Barrow explained:
“I was delighted to be able to facilitate this opportunity for representatives of Shropshire’s voluntary sector to meet with the Minister. The meeting provided a platform to share Shropshire’s successes and challenges. The Minister recognised the challenges of local authorities within the current funding landscape and is conscious of unintended consequences of change”.
“I am keen to encourage all of Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community sector groups and organisation to participate within the Civil Society Consultation”.
The government consultation has four main themes: our civil society, people; partnerships, and places. You can find out more at:
To find out more about Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly visit: http://vcsvoice.org/