County Council Pledges To Boost Community Working

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A new pledge has been made to boost community working in West Sussex.

The county has more than 4,000 voluntary and community sector groups and organisations, ranging from small village community interest groups to members of national charities. 

West Sussex County Council has developed a new set of ‘Partnership Principles’ that sets out and renews its commitment to working in partnership with the groups.

These include pledging that the council is community focussed in all its work and works in collaboration with groups.

The principles have been developed with representatives from the voluntary and community sector.

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “I’m really proud of our voluntary and community sector.

“Whether a large or a small group, they all have an important and valuable role to play in helping to create and develop community engagement and resilience and add to the vibrant diversity of our county.”

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, added: “We work alongside many partners to help us deliver county council projects across our wonderful county. I am delighted that we can make this commitment to keep supporting our residents by working in active partnership with the voluntary and community sector.”

The new principles are in addition to a commitment made by the county council and other partners in 2012 called the West Sussex Compact to work in partnership and collaboration towards common aims and objectives. 

Sue Livett, Managing Director of the Aldingbourne Trust, Rebecca Smicle, CEO of Independent Lives, Nik Demetriades, CEO of 4Sight Vision Support & Cheryl Berry, Community Partnerships Lead – Healthwatch West Sussex, part of Supporting Community Based Solutions, a group of voluntary organisations that has helped shaped the principles, said: “Voluntary & community groups are connected to thousands of West Sussex citizens. We welcome the commitment West Sussex County Council are making to work more closely with us & look forward to collaborative approaches to improve people’s lives”.

Supporting Community Based Solutions works across West Sussex with people with mental health issues, and learning, physical and sensory disabilities, older people and carers to empower independent lives.