Our Work: Policy Engagement

The Way Ahead: Civil Society at the Heart of London What does this mean for Women’s Way Ahead?

This briefing is the first of a series that aims to highlight the key proposals made by London Funders for future voluntary sector support in London. It aims to provide a summary of the issues and emerging policy imperatives to provide strategic and operational steer for discussion within the Women’s sector.

In December 2015 the Change Ahead report was produced as part of the on-going Review about the Future of Civil Society Support in London. It was carried out by London Funders in response to the ‘challenges’ arising from the heavy and unrelenting cuts in public sector funding and the reduced investment in the voluntary and community sector, combined with the growing demand  and complexity of needs of service users.

The decision by London Councils to stop funding pan-London support from April 2017 (ending 30 years of boroughs collectively recognising the importance of this work) pulls into sharp focus the impact of this on the support of Women’s services, particularly capacity building/ 2nd tier infrastructure support (the report refers to this as civil society support).

To view report click here                                                      

    – Of the £82 billion in tax increases and cuts in social security spending announced in 2010 that will be implemented. 81% will come from women
    – London has 2.25 million people living on low incomes, of which almost two thirds are women.
    – Women’s average personal pensions are only 62% of the average for men.
    – Persistent racial disparity exists in the UK workforce, placing BME women at a disadvantage due to multiple layers of inequality. Black workers with a degree earn £14.33 per hour, on average, whereas white workers with a degree earn 30% more, or £18.63 per hour.

    What’s It About?

    The Way Ahead report (TWA) launched in April 2016 and commissioned by London Funders working with Greater London Volunteering and London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) established a wider Reference Group to develop a new vision and system for supporting civil society.

    It is a response to the way London Stakeholders work and aims to place the civil society at the heart of how London works. From co-producing an understanding of need and how to tackle it with our communities, thorough to better sharing of intelligence and data, and making sure that civil society’s voice is heard in decision-making at a strategic level.

    A Systems Change Group has been established by the existing stakeholders to facilitate this change in vision and bring together interested parties to move the plan forward and also to identify areas to prototype and develop.  The Way Ahead report makes 12 recommendations for action and the Systems Change Group has gathered these under five key themes :

    1. Pragmatic co-production
    2. Triage and Connect
    3. Data Sharing
    4. Voice and campaigning
    5. Consistent commissioning and funding

    Each theme has been explored by a Task and Finish Group, which has made recommendations which can be found here.