A key role of VAS is to develop policy and feed into national discussions the needs and priorities of our members. This is done through a number of channels such as official responses to consultations, direct engagement with the Government and politicians, and working with other intermediary colleagues. We aim to ensure that policy is informed by our members and that their wishes are always conveyed in discussions.

Further to this, we look to inform our members of any upcoming policy issues which may affect them and look to provide the necessary information to make sure TSIs are up to speed with any potential legislative changes.

First Minister Alex Salmond hosted a Volunteer Week reception with young people from South Lanarkshire. Pic Kenny Smith, © www.kennysmithphotography.co.uk

Former First Minister Alex Salmond hosted a Volunteer Week reception with young people from South Lanarkshire.
© www.kennysmithphotography.co.uk

Please click on the links below to have a look at the work we are undertaking in these policy areas, we will develop these areas as more work is being undertaken. We will also post briefings and background documents from ourselves and colleagues which TSIs may find useful when acquainting themselves with certain policy areas. Members are invited to join the policy discussions on the VAS forum space on the KnowledgeHub.

The Community Empowerment Bill has been included in the Scottish Government’s legislative agenda for the 2013/14 session. A draft bill and further consultation was introduced on the 6th November 2013.  A full copy of the bill and consultation document can be found here. VAS has since provided a response to this consultation on 24th January 2014, this can be read here.

The key aim of the proposed bill is to support communities to achieve their own goals and aspirations through taking independent action and by having their voices heard in the decisions that affect their area.

The Scottish Government ran a scoping consultation on the Bill which closed in September 2012. VAS provided a response to this initial consultation. More information on the Bill can be found on the Scottish Government website. You can also read all consultation responses, including a number of responses from TSIs.

At our 2013 Annual Conference we ran a workshop looking at the Community Empowerment Bill and finding out what TSIs want to see included in the published Bill. Findings from this session will be made available in the near future.

The Stage 1 debate on the Community Empowerment  (Scotland) Bill took place in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd February 2015. VAS provided the following briefing to MSPs: Stage 1 CE Bill – MSP Briefing – Voluntary Action Scotland 29.01.15

We would welcome your input into this discussion as it develops, so please join us in the discussion on the KnowledgeHub.

Community Planning is an ongoing area of interest to VAS and we continuously strive to see TSIs have a meaningful impact in their local community planning partnership. Information in this section will be updated as and when it is available. You can learn more about on Community Planning on the Scottish Government web site.

We would welcome your input into this discussion as it develops, so please join us in the discussion on the KnowledgeHub.

Community Transport is an issue of great importance to communities across Scotland and, VAS believes, is an important component of the Reshaping Care for Older People agenda. VAS has been heavily involved in putting forward the views of TSIs around this agenda.

On 1st July 2013 the Scottish Parliament Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee produced its report into Community Transport. As part of the inquiry VAS provided written evidence to the Committee (.pdf, 262kb).

VAS was also asked to take part in an oral evidence session with the committee. Here is the full official report from the meeting. A shortened version of the VAS inputs to this meeting is also available (.docx, 14kb).

VAS is currently building up case studies from across the network of TSI involvement in community transport and where this has worked well. We would welcome your input into this discussion via the KnowledgeHub.

VAS recently provided a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation (.pdf, 245kb) on the European Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020. Many TSIs have developed innovative ways of leveraging in European Structural Funds to fund local activity and this has proven a lifeline to many of their services.

The Scottish Government ran a further consultation detailed proposals which closed on 24th January 2014. VAS again provided a response, reiterating a number of our key concerns from the previous consultation response and putting forward our view on the new proposals. A copy of the VAS response can be found here: VAS – ESF Consultation Response 24 01 14.

VAS will continue to be involved in this agenda as it progresses. You can learn more and keep up to date with the Scottish Government’s proposals at their web site.

We would welcome your input into this discussion as it develops, so please join us in the discussion on the KnowledgeHub.

VAS responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committees call for evidence on the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill. The response from VAS called for a focus on ‘social value’, innovation and sustainability. The full VAS submission can be downloaded here – VAS Response to Procurement Reform Bill (.pdf, 248kb).

This is an area of continued importance to VAS and we will engage with the legislative process as the Bill proceeds through Parliament.

VAS has been heavily involved in informing and advocating for the network ahead of the introduction of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Bill. This Bill focuses on the integration of budgets for adult health and social care and indicates a significant shift in both these policy areas, bringing them into the same sphere. TSIs have an important role to play to play in ensuring local needs and wishes are heard in the integration process, particularly around the locality planning section of the Bill. The Bill is currently progressing through stage 1 in Parliament, which is to be completed by December 2013.

On 19th August VAS and ALLIANCE ran a joint point forum with TSIs to provide feedback on the progress of the bill, give information about its contents and invite discussion on what needs to be included from the point of view of TSIs. The notes from this forum can be found here (.docx, 20kb).

Our colleagues at the ALLIANCE a useful briefing on the Bill (.pdf, 300kb), whilst our colleagues at Voluntary Health Scotland have also published a briefing on the policy memorandum (.pdf, 334kb).

An extensive briefing from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre can be read here.

Work on this policy area will continue as the Bill progresses through Parliament and throughout its implementation. We would welcome your input into this discussion as it develops, so please join us in the discussion on the KnowledgeHub.

As a national intermediary body VAS has a role to play in advocating on behalf of our network in budget discussions. VAS has recently been inputting to the budgetary process for 2014/15. As part of this VAS was invited to speak at the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee. In addition to providing oral evidence, VAS also provided written evidence ahead of the session (.docx, 27kb).

Further to this VAS and ALLIANCE provided a joint submission to a later evidence session with the Government (.pdf, 250kb).

The full Budget 2014/15, as introduced, can be read here (very large .pdf, 7mb, 204 pages).

We would welcome your input into this discussion as it develops, so please join us in the discussion on the KnowledgeHub.