New Midlothian Compact sets out path for positive working
A new Midlothian Compact has been approved, setting out the foundations for a positive working relationship between Midlothian Council and its partners in the third sector.
Midlothian’s third sector includes community groups, charities and social enterprises, as well as their staff and thousands of individual volunteers. The new compact sets out the values that will underpin the relationship between the council and these groups, and identifies a series of outcomes both will seek to achieve for the area as the result of strengthened cross-sector collaboration.
The values set out in the compact are:
- Togetherness - working together to design and deliver services for the people of Midlothian and making sure that the council engages with the third sector on decisions affecting them
- Respect - the council and third sector will offer each other mutual respect, valuing the knowledge, skills and constraints both work with
- Accountability - working with each other openly and in a mutually accountable way
- Creativity - taking creative approaches to opportunities and challenges
- Kindness - committed to putting kind, socially-inclusive interactions at the heart of their work.
The next stage in rolling out the Midlothian Compact includes developing a communications strategy to promote it among staff, volunteers, service users and others; to raise awareness of the value of the third sector in Midlothian and to celebrate its successes. Cross-sector development and training sessions will be organised to encourage effective partnership working, and opportunities for sharing resources, skills, processes and facilities will be explored.
A Joint Participation Strategy will also be developed for Midlothian promoting community leadership, activism and organisation in response to local needs.
“In the current difficult climate, and with the many financial and other challenges facing our communities, community groups, volunteers and the public sector, it’s more important than ever that we maintain and build on our commitment to shared values and partnership working,” explained Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Russell Imrie.
“Midlothian has long been recognised for the strength of the working relationships that exists between the council and the third sector. Through collaboration, co-production and innovation, we are better placed to deliver the positive outcomes needed to meet our joint priorities for Midlothian’s communities – reducing the gap in learning and health outcomes and reducing the gap in economic circumstances.
“We are proud of, and grateful for, the positive contribution our volunteers and third sector partners make to Midlothian life and we are committed to working together for the wellbeing of our communities.”
Quality of life
The Chair of the Midlothian Third Sector Forum, George Wilson, added: “Midlothian’s Third Sector contributes tremendously to the quality of life for the county’s residents. It is also a significant employer and contributor to the county’s economy. Our sector seeks to ensure that people across Midlothian, particularly those who are most vulnerable, have access to the services, activities and relationships they need for a happy, healthy life.”