VCS Briefing Event on WMCA
Over 150 voluntary and community leads from across the West Midlands gathered at The Church at Carrs Lane on 12th April. WMVCS, a recently-formed group comprised of the primary voluntary sector membership and support organisations across the West Midlands, held a successful Briefing Event for voluntary and community organisations to inform attendees about the West Midlands Combined Authority and discuss future engagement.
The event reflected the agreement between twelve local authorities and three LEP partnerships in the West Midlands to move closer under a devolution deal and to establish the West Midlands Combined Authority, moving powers and money from Whitehall to the West Midlands. It considered what will this mean for local residents, for local authorities and for the many thousand voluntary and community organisations across the region.
The session was designed to cover:
- The rationale for and scope of the Combined Authority.
- Its current stage of development and what’s ahead.
- The future ambitions and priorities of the Combined Authority.
- The contribution of the voluntary and community sector across the West Midlands.
- Current and future engagement with the voluntary and community sector.
After the Welcome, Introduction was delivered by Ian Darch, CEO of Wolverhampton Voluntary Service Council.
There were three further presentations:
- Introduction to the WM Combined Authority – Martin Reeves, CEO, WMCA and Coventry City Council.
- Introduction to the Mental Health Commission – Steve Gilbert, Panel Member.
- Public Service Board and the VCS – Brian Carr, CEO, BVSC.
Then, Martin, Steve and Brian were joined by Stephen Banbury, CEO of Coventry Voluntary Action and Garry Jones, CEO of Support Staffordshire to form a panel and answer questions from the audience.
The event was seen as ‘just a start’ in forming an effective link between the VCS across the region and the Combined Authority.