The Westminster City Partnership has ended ten years of partnership with the voluntary sector, by voting to relegate voluntary and community representatives to a powerless advisory role with no voting rights.
Now only representatives from the NHS, council and police are full voting members.
After the vote, chair of the Paddington Development Trust, Drew Stevenson and its deputy chief executive Jackie Rosenberg walked out of the meeting, along with Bernard Collier, chief executive of Voluntary Action Westminster.
Collier said: “It’s hard to see the logic behind this decision, which ends ten years of partnership working with Westminster’s voluntary and community sector. It’s a u-turn in terms of local policy – and flies in the face of the policies of all three main political parties. We’re deeply unhappy with this decision.”
The decision comes shortly after the decision to cut £500,000 from the voluntary sector grants budget.
VAW has written to the council complaining the cut in funding breaches codes in the Compact. Both, VAW and the council have met with NCVO Compact Advocacy to discuss the matter. NCVO is trying to work through the issues.