Winding down of the Community Planning project and the Third Sector Network meetings

Dundee City Council recently had to make difficult funding cuts to meet the 2023/24 budget Gap of £18.1m. It is with sadness that Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA) announces the winding down of its Community Planning project as Dundee City Council withdraws its funding in this area of work. The proposed budget cut was put forward at the last week’s Council meeting, and later confirmed by the Policy and Resources Budget Committee, despite DVVA’s petition to reconsider the proposal given the far-reaching effects and implications of this funding withdrawal.

The Community Planning project will cease from the end of the financial year 31st March 2023, and DVVA will work with relevant partners to work out the best possible way to go forward. With the appointment of the current Community Planning Coordinator in September 2022, Dundee communities saw the establishment of 8 ward-based Third Sector Networks (TSNs), with a membership of 451 contacts cutting across Third Sector organisations, community groups and grass-roots initiatives. The Coordinator facilitated 10 TSNs meetings, between September 2022 and February 2023, attended by 178 participants; conversations had gathered momentum, the next round of TSNs meetings had already been agreed and network members were defining their tangible contributions towards priorities strategically and locally identified.

We are disheartened to experience the loss of this funding, which was instrumental in ensuring that the Third Sector had a voice at strategic level and input into locality planning, whilst providing a safe and accessible environment, where everyone felt they had an equal opportunity to contribute. With the winding down of the Networks and the lack of resources to lead on this agenda, we lose a pivotal mechanism to directly engage with our stakeholders and ensure a fair representation of the Third Sector in locality planning.

We want to sincerely thank everyone who has actively engaged with and eagerly contributed to the Networks. The success of the Networks could have not been possible without your involvement. We regret witnessing that such a valued and necessary area of work that supports, empowers and recognises the vast contribution from the Third Sector is discontinued. Nevertheless, and despite the challenges faced, DVVA will remain committed to its role of advocating and representing the Third Sector.

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