Latest Community news & jobs Southwark VCS asks of local parties ahead of 2022 local elections Published 21 Dec 2021 Members of Southwark Voice, who are an independent group of representatives from networks of voluntary organisations, community groups and active citizens working in Southwark, have been working very hard to create a list of asks of local parties ahead of the May 2022 local elections. We invited four local parties: Southwark Green Party Southwark Labour Party Southwark Liberal Democrats and Southwark Conservatives to meet with Southwark Voice members on Wednesday, 2nd March 2022 and provide a 15 minutes response to our proposals, in particular, which, if any, of the below asks will they include in their manifestos for the 2022 local elections. Southwark VCS Asks Accountability and Engagement To ensure that the local voluntary and community sector and the communities they serve are consulted in a serious and meaningful way and to report clearly on the outcomes of any consultations. To embed a clear policy, procedure and practise on how the Southwark Council demonstrate and report back impact to communities in a “we promised and we did’ format; to widen and increase the involvement of as many people as possible. Equalities & Race To call for an urgent review of the Council’s Race Equalities Analysis process the council uses to assess the impact of decisions on Black and other marginalised communities. To reform the process so that Black and other marginalised communities are co-production partners in decisions. Funding To ensure that the local voluntary and community sector is adequately funded and that the funding is distributed transparently and equitably reflecting the diversity of the borough and its residents. To ensure that the local voluntary and community sector has access to and ability to take part in council procurement. To call for a review of the council’s procurement process and ensure that support to all community groups (regardless of the background of their members and their size) to make applications is provided e.g., training or briefings to help applicants understand the local authority procurement process. Complex application processes can deter small organisations with limited resources or experiences this will build the capacity of black and other marginalised communities to respond to tenders and make bids. To implement participatory budgeting programmes where community groups and community representatives are invited to decide how to allocate spending to projects. This would nurture community leaders and representatives working together to negotiate with each other to arrive at a collective position. To commit to ring-fencing of grants for Black and other marginalised communities as long as the need has been established through community conversations about council funding criteria via representation on decision making panels from elected representatives from the Black and other marginalised communities. Latin American Community Centre To recognise the contribution of the Latin American Community in Southwark by providing funding and resources necessary for the creation of a Latin American Community Centre by 2026. Premises To recognise the value that local voluntary and community sector organisations bring by creating for them opportunities to access council-controlled premises on an equal, affordable and transparent basis for short-term and long-term rental.