BVSC calls out to community partners to get involved in proposed City Board

BVSC is seeking expressions of interest from community sector partners to sit on the proposed City Board. Our chief executive Brian Carr outlines the mechanism for getting involved.

As many of you will know by now I, along with colleagues in the health, faith and business sectors, recently co-signed a letter from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Ward. The letter (which can be read by clicking this link – BCC Leader’s Letter) proposes the establishment of a City Board to “provide a focal point for our efforts in changing the partnership dynamics in the city” and to make the most of emerging opportunities to build trust and collective effort between key sectors, agencies, and individuals.

There is likely to be a space on the board for both voluntary sector and community sector representatives, and the proposal is that membership should rotate on an annual basis. BVSC has been asked to agree on a process with the wider sector to select representatives to the board, and to ensure there are robust mechanisms for discussion and communication between sector partners. I’m sure that you’ll agree that it is crucial to ensure that whomever takes on these positions in the months and years ahead is able to make well-informed inputs on behalf of the city’s voluntary and community sector. It will also be important to ensure that our presence on the board is established constructively in the first instance.

Therefore, should the proposals go ahead as drafted, I am proposing that:

  • I attend in the voluntary sector place initially, while BVSC works actively with the City Council to refresh and reinvigorate BCC/voluntary sector communication channels, including the Voluntary Sector Chief Executives’ Forum and Third Sector Assembly. The position will be opened to the wider sector no later than one year from the inception of the City Board – and earlier than this if the representative and communication channels are fully in place and working effectively. This will ensure that initial and future voluntary sector representatives can be fully supported in meeting the expectation that they will have an awareness of, and an ability to interface with, a range of voluntary sector views and perspectives, as well as an ability to feed these clearly and constructively into City Board discussions.

 

  • We invite expressions of interest for the community sector place, with a view to ensuring that whomever is selected can be quickly connected with the fullest possible range of cross-city community consultation channels, and that BVSC can work with them to link them to wider voluntary and community sector communication facilities such as the Voluntary Sector Chief Executives’ Forum. Should there be more than one expression of interest for this place, we will work with those volunteering to establish a fair and open selection process. Volunteers should be active at a community level, with the ability to think globally about a wide range of community issues and considerations relevant to Birmingham.

I hope you will agree with the above approach will maximise our ability as a sector to properly coordinate our efforts to make a strong collective contribution to the proposed City Board. Please let me have your views on the above – and your nominations for the community sector place – directly to Brian Carr at brianc@bvsc.org no later than 5pm on Friday 10th August. This will give us time, should it be necessary, to run a selection process.

Feedback on the City Board proposal itself can be made directly to Jonathan Tew, Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council (contact details in the letter).
With thanks and best wishes,

BrianCarr

 

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