Local authorities push the third sector 30/06/08

The most vulnerable people in local communities stand to benefit from the support of charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises, now that a majority of England’s local councils have made it a top priority to have an active and thriving third sector.

In a sign of unprecedented support for local third sector organisations, and in recognition of the work they do to strengthen communities and help the disadvantaged, almost two thirds of local authorities (LAs) have decided that having a vibrant and effective local third sector will be a priority for them over the next three years.

Under a new system in place this year, all top tier local authority areas will be measured on their performance against 198 new National Indicators (NIs), two of which focus on the third sector.

In addition, each area has had the opportunity to prioritise 35 NIs that will particularly meet local needs, and will be the targets that sit at the heart of each council’s Local Area Agreement.

Under this new system, 93 of England’s top tier 150 LAs - 62 percent of them - have chosen to prioritise one of the two third sector indicators: NI6 - participation in regular volunteering; and NI7 - creating an environment for a thriving third sector.

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