This set of pages can be used to share and draft consultation responses. They are intended to help pool responses particularly from the point of view of non government stakeholders concerned with local sustainability - independent sustainability forums, Local Agenda 21 groups, community based climate change groups, transition towns groups, etc. (Version as of 15 February sent by email to Defra with request for confirmation of receipt Philralph 11:26, 15 February 2008 (UTC); confirmation email received Philralph 14:45, 15 February 2008 (UTC)). Consultation deadline: February 22 2008.
Quick links - Main article - Q2-6 - Q14-18

Introduction and Quick guidelines Edit

(Introduction to follow)

  • Add in your responses to consultation questions [1]. If any of the pages becomes too long it can be subdivided
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General comments Edit

Use this section to summarise important points arising from more detailed responses to the 24 consultation questions.

  1. Recognition of challenges facing Defra in respect of the diversity of the sector and improvements to local partnership arrangements is welcome, however the proposed solutions do not seem necessarily appropriate or adequate.
  2. The Strategy could better reflect the government's response to the Power of Information review [2]
  3. If there is littlte tie-in with Communities and Local Government (CLG) initiatives on community empowerment, and especially particpatory budgeting [3], this would seem a missed opportunity.

Vision and objectives Edit

Q1 Do you agree with Defra’s initial thoughts about the vision and objectives for our third sector strategy? If not, what alternatives would you propose and why? (p9)

(add responses here)

Collaboration between Defra and stakeholders Edit

  • See separate article - Q2-6

Future grant funding Edit

Q7 How best could national strategic partners on the theme of greener living, deploy any grant funding in a way that helps local third sector groups and projects to contribute to achieving the overall outcomes? Are there successful models which could be adopted or adapted from other funding schemes? (p16)

  • There appears to be no link in with CLG inititiatives on community empowerment and particularly participatory budgeting. A comparatively small amount of funding to enabling networking of the kind outlined in response to Q2-6, especially if there were ways for government departments to work together on this, could be more effective than Defra appearing to work largely in isolation. This would appear consistent with Defra's new Departmental Strategic Objective to champion sustainable development across Government and nationally, from 1st April 2008, (p.17 of the consultation document), and in particular the themes of 'Strengthening communities' and 'Enabling voice and campaigning'

Common goals Edit

Q8 What are the key roles which should be performed by a Defra third sector stakeholder group and how should it operate? (p18)

  • It is not clear how the purpose of compacts is achieved at local level and how any meta or strategic issues concerning local issues are dealt with. (News that) Compact disputes between charities and local public bodies triple, December 5 [4] suggests the need for strategic resolution of issues.

Q9 How independent should the group be? For example, should it decide its own agenda and undertake its own secretariat function (with appropriate resourcing provided by Defra)? (p18)

Creating a supportive environment Edit

Q10 What are the most important practical changes that Defra could make to the way it does business, which would improve our working relationship with third sector organisations? (p19)

Q11 In what ways could Defra encourage third sector organisations it works with to commit to improve their own environmental performance? (p19)

Enabling voice and campaigning Edit

Q12 How could Defra work better with advocates, umbrella organisations and community gatekeepers to tackle climate change, protect the environment and champion the needs of rural communities? (p20)

Q13 What structures and innovative consultation measures could Defra put in place to ensure policy making reaches out to smaller and more ‘hard to reach’ groups? (p20)

  • The approach seems top down and so counter productive to the interests and concerns of those stakeholders who already feel marginalised or totally ignored. In particular the approach seems to largely ignore the potential of the sector to reach self - organising solutions.

Strengthening communities Edit

  • See separate article - Q14-18

Transforming public services Edit

Q19 In what ways could Defra further support an enhanced role for third sector organisations in delivering services which help tackle climate change, protect the environment and address rural needs? (p23)

Q20 What are the key areas of ‘market potential’ where third sector organisations could provide new or improved services on climate change and the environment? (p23)

Q21 What more could Defra do to help create a level playing field for potential third sector suppliers in its own procurement procedures? (p23)

Encouraging social enterprise and environmental entrepreneurship Edit

Q22 In what ways could Defra further support the contribution of social enterprises and entrepreneurs to environmental sustainability? (p24)

Q23 Do you think there is merit in a strengthened Defra Social Enterprise Forum? If so, what do you suggest should be its terms of reference? Should the Forum engage with key social enterprises or just umbrella organisations? (p24)

Q24 What information would you like to see on Defra’s website under social enterprise that is not duplicated on other Government sites? (p24)

Quick links - Main article - Q2-6 - Q14-18

Related topics Edit

References Edit

  1. Defra
  2. Comment on This
  3. Communities and Local Government, October 19
  4. National Council for Voluntary Organisations, December 5

Glossary Edit

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