Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee (No. 2) 17/12/14



Tony attended an ESIF Shadow Committee meeting on the 17th December 2014 and has asked that this update be published here:

Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee 17/12/14

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Ian Courts from Solihull MBC.

The first important announcement was that the programme will now have 2 Managing Authorities (MAs) DCLG will be the MA for ERDF and DWP will become the MA for ESF. The 2 MAs will interact with 2 separate parts of the European Commission.

There are still delays in approval of the Operational Programme by the European Commission. The UK Govt is still committed to the role of LEPs but the Commission has yet to accept the LEPs’ role.

Sir Albert Bore updated on the National Growth Board to say that there are still significant issues to be clarified Between the EU Commission and UK Govt — e.g. the proposed Strategic Urban Development programme for Core Cities has been sent back by the Commission.

Delayed decision and sign off of the Operational Programme creates significant risk for The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) which only has 2 years (2014 and 2015) in which to spend.

A proposal to constitute an ESIF SUB COMMITTEE was approved . This sub committee will work on pipeline projects, the open call for projects and ensuing applications and then provide all relevant information to the ESIF Committee for decision making. The sub committee will be made up of officers from all sectors and must reflect the structure of the ESIF Committee.

So the voluntary sector and the social enterprise sector need to consider who they wish to put forward for places on this WORKING sub committee.

Technical Assistance

A paper was submitted by Lloyd Broad outlining a proposal for a Technical Assistance Strategy to draw down the maximum available ie 2% of the programme. This is because the 4% allowable will be held nationally by the MAs but they will make 2% available to the LEPs.

Lloyd’s paper suggested 7 draft proposed activities – there may be more but one proposed activity was:



I pointed out that this was crucial for the sector given that I felt that we had been disadvantaged by the LEP decision to opt out of Lottery match funding. The chair and others couldn’t seem to see that we had been disadvantaged which perhaps explains why the LEP took the decision without any reference to or consultation with the sector!

The committee also seemed to think everything was now ok as the Lottery had given approval for existing Lottery funding to be used as match. However, this is one organisation – BVSC with Talent Match (which only applies to Birmingham) and in my, perhaps controversial, opinion simply compounds a monopoly on Lottery major programme funding by adding European funding to it.

At the end of the meeting I informed the chair that I would no longer be attending on behalf of Social Enterprise as I am leaving Birmingham to take up a new role in South Yorkshire.

So, things for the sector are – sort out my replacement and who is going on to the working sub committee and keep a very close eye on the opportunity for technical assistance.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year
Au revoir
Tony Clabby 18/12/14

Update 19th December 2014:  Tony added: “It seems that we were given some erroneous information at the ESIF Committee on 17/12/14 – According to the Office for Civil Society yesterday 18/12/14 the Lottery have not yet given approval for existing programmes e.g Talent Match to be used as match funding for European Programmes”.

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter celebrates first anniversary

Further to the news that the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter has just attracted a new retailer — Textiles by St Anne’s — it has also just celebrated its first anniversary.

It is a year since Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, launched Digbeth as Birmingham’s Social Enterprise Quarter and to mark the occasion iSE hosted another first for the Quarter – a Social Enterprise Trade Fair.

Sarah Crawley, chief exec of iSE and initiator of the Quarter, said how delighted she was with what had been achieved in the past year “with a little funding, a lot of goodwill and a lot of volunteer support.”

Achievements in the past year include:

  • Completion of a baseline survey mapping the social enterprises in Digbeth and their contribution to the local economy.
  • Production of a strategic plan for supporting the social, environmental and economic revival of Digbeth.
  • Regular Social Enterprise Walks, allowing anyone interested to visit a selection of social enterprises in Digbeth, have a guided tour and learn more at first hand.
  • Quarterly Social Enterprise Markets.
  • The creation of work experience, internships, volunteering and job opportunities for students and the long term unemployed.
  • Closer working relationships amongst enterprises in and outside of DigbethThe Digbeth through continuing activity of the Highgate and Cheapside Social Enterprise Network.


Exhibitors at the event included Change Kitchen, Citizen Click, Birmingham Counselling Services, Irish Welfare Information Centre, RnR, Spot On Marketing & Communications, Edible Eastside, iSE, Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter, Cloudberry, Frost & Snow, Craftspace representing Shelanu Women, The European Migrant Information Hub, BITA Pathways’ Park Lane garden centre and Textiles by St Anne’s and Health Exchange.

Congratulations to everyone involved.


New Ideas on Social Value — event report


We were delighted to be able to work jointly with Mark Ellerby of cloudberry innovation & development and others to organise the New Ideas on Social Value event held at the Concept Conference Centre, Birmingham, on Friday 12th December 2014.

The aim was to bring together a range of different perspectives on social value and update participants on a range of new initiatives and approaches to implementing social value — in local authorities, and in the health and social care sector.

Alun Severn, BSSEC, spoke about findings from two years’ of working on social value implementation with local authorities, and especially Birmingham City Council, as part of a project funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Alun explained the approaches that are becoming prevalent amongst local authorities and the common difficulties they — and social enterprises — are experiencing in evidencing and reporting on social value. This remains the least developed part of the process.  View presentation.

Paul Maubach, Chief Accountable Officer, Dudley CCG, gave some fascinating insights into the thinking of Dudley CCG and why it has decided to invest in PSIAMS, an outcomes measurement tool and client relations management system for person-centred services. Everyone there was impressed by what Paul had to say and the forward-thinking shown by Dudley CCG in investing in third sector infrastructure and skills that can help strengthen delivery of community-based health and social care.

Perhaps the most interesting point was the rationale Paul sees for investing in initiatives that have the potential to increase the capacity of the third sector to deliver early intervention and low-cost preventative services.

The per-head budget for Dudley CCG’s population is about £1200.00 each. A single admission to hospital spends the entirety of this, and more. Hence Dudley CCG’s interest in moving more of its budget (and services) away from “treating people” to “supporting wellbeing” — a recasting of health that can only be achieved, Paul explained, with the support of other types of providers.

The slide below shows how services need to be moved from the expensive lower-left hand corner of the graphic (‘medical’) to the upper-right (‘social’ and ‘wellbeing’).  View presentation.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Mark Ellerby, cloudberry innovation & development, spoke about PSIAMS and the process — and motivations — behind the development of this new tool. PSIAMS is being made freely available to VCOs and social enterprises in Dudley and at low-cost to others outside Dudley.  View presentation.

Charlotte Pace, trainer, researcher and facilitator, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, spoke about some of the national social value programmes she has been involved with — in particular the Health & Social Value Programme and Building Health Partnerships Round 2. She explained the steps taken by Halton Borough Council (Widnes) and the Salford City Partnership to embed social value in their procurement and commissioning processes. The latter is an interesting example of a city partnership adopting a social value charter.  View presentation.

Finally, Sarah Crawley, CEO, iSE, spoke about the experience of developing the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter as part of SEUK’s ‘social enterprise place’ project. Over 50 social enterprises trade in an area barely more than a square mile or so in Birmingham’s oldest industrial quarter, Digbeth. The DSEQ is exploring the business and social value gains to be had from a ‘cluster’ of social enterprises seeking to work together in a more inter-related way. The DSEQ is one year old and celebrates its first anniversary of the 16th December 2014.  View presentation.

We would like to thank everyone who took part — especially those speakers who travelled to the vent and took time to prepare detailed presentations.

NIOSV - Supportes


You can see all of BSSEC’s materials on social value here:

Interesting video debate on social value with a panel including Hazel Blears MP

Birmingham City Council and social value

→ Useful resources

→  Social value — one year on

Key findings from two years’ work

→ All blog posts tagged ‘social value’

Do you want to volunteer in a social enterprise?

Unemployed? Aged 19-plus? Want to find out how employing in a social enterprise could boost your skills, confidence and chances in the job market?

Then get along to iSE’s forthcoming briefing session on VISE — Volunteering in Social Enterprise.

Bookings/enquiries/information — send mail to Barbara Murphy or ring 0121 771 1411.

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter attracts new retailer

The Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter has just attracted a new retailer — Textiles by St Anne’s has just opened its first shop, with an official launch presided over by council leader Sir Albert Bore, no less.

The shop, in Alcester Street, Digbeth, is a new venture for Textiles by St Anne’s, which offers a bespoke textiles service to both contract and private customers. It already supplies prestige clients such as Aston Hall, Liberty of London, Paperchase and the Victoria and Albert Museum, but now local people  can also pop in for alterations, special gifts and custom-made orders.

Textiles by St Anne’s is affiliated to the mental health charity BITA Pathways and has been in operation for nearly 15 years. It supports adults with mental health difficulties.

The enterprise is also popular with with young designers — such as Abigail Borg [pictured] — keen to have their products made by an organisation which reinvests its profits in helping people who are disadvantaged in the job market.

Speaking at the launch, Sir Albert Bore [pictured] said, “It gives me great pleasure to be supporting this enterprise, which is doing such excellent work.  And I am delighted to see Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter flourishing, attracting new enterprises and creating new opportunities a year after I launched it.  Social Enterprise is making a significant contribution towards Birmingham’s economy.”

Congratulations to Textiles by St Anne’s, and to the DSEQ — happy first anniversary!

You can attend the DSEQ’s first anniversary bash at 23 Moseley Rd, Digbeth on Tuesday 16th December 2014 from 12.00 until 2pm. Festive grub included!

Consultation on Birmingham City Council’s third sector strategy

This news just in…

Birmingham City Council has had a long and productive relationship with third sector organisations across the city and recognises the sector as a valuable partner in the delivery of effective and efficient public services.

Severe cuts to the council’s budget mean this relationship is now even more important, with the sector playing an increasingly critical role in supporting the council to achieve its priorities.

To facilitate this, BCC has developed a draft Third Sector Strategy and this is now out for consultation from 9 Dec 2014 to 2 Mar 2015.

Read the draft strategy and give your views.

More on the BVSC website.

Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee


Many of you will recall from this post that we recently elected a social enterprise representative to the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP ESIF Committee. This is the committee that has responsibility for overseeing the LEP’s European & Structural Investment Fund plans.

Tony Clabby was elected (with Melanie Mills as the alternate for the occasions when he cannot attend).

Tony attended an ESIF Shadow Committee meeting on the 15th October 2014 and has asked that this update be published here:

Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee

Very soon after the election/selection process for Social Enterprise representation I attended a meeting of the Shadow ESIF Committee on the 15th October at the Council House.

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Ian Courts from Solihull MBC who will remain as chair when the ESIF committee moves on from its’ shadow form. This is expected to be the next meeting on 17th December 2014.

The meeting was mainly a series of updates.

Firstly, from Mark Foley of DCLG (which is the Managing Authority for the programme).

Secondly, from Lloyd Broad (BCC) on the Local Implementation Plan (LIP). Lloyd will present the draft LIP at the ESIF Committee meeting on 17/12/14.

Mark Reed (BCC) then gave brief updates on ERDF, ESF and EAFRD.

I raised discussions on the Third Sector requiring Technical Assistance to build capacity in order to submit large scale/LEP area wide bids and potential joint ERDF/ESF bids.

Liz Grove (Solihull MBC) briefly talked about communication channels and “pipeline projects” which are now to be referred to as “Priorities for Investment”. It was indicated that the prospectus for calls is expected to be reviewed in December.

So, in summary – not a great deal of hard facts and figures but what I have gleaned is not great news for the sector:

  • Firstly, as we already knew, GBSLEP has chosen not to opt in for the Lottery match on offer, making it very difficult for Third Sector organisations to find match.
  • Secondly, the LEP wants to see bids in excess of £1m.
  • Finally, the LEP wants all bids to be LEP-wide.


Since this meeting of the ESIF committee a meeting has been arranged between the LEPs on the 9th December and I will feed back on that subsequently. It will be interesting if LEPs are restructured in line with any proposed Combined Authority for the West Midlands as Black Country and Coventry/Warwickshire have opted in for match while GBSLEP has opted out.

Further updates to follow after meetings on 9th and 17th December.

Tony Clabby 25/11/14

Social value will be part of 7th May 2015 election manifestos for all parties, says Hazel Blears MP


AnswerTime® — a new WebTV format developed by InformationDaily.TV — invited Hazel Blears MP, Professor Olinga Ta’eed, Jenni Inglis, Phil Loach, Guy Battle and an audience of experts to discuss delivery and measurement of Social Value.

Tony Clabby and I from BSSEC, Melanie Mills from SEWM and about twenty-five other invited guests were in the audience for this — the first of a series of panel discussions on key policy issues being filmed for webcast by Boilerhouse Media.

 Watch the video.

Hazel Blears MP (Labour, Salford and Eccles) was one of the architects of the Social Value Act, alongside the promoter of the original Private Member’s Bill, Chris White MP (Conservative, Warwick & Leamington) and she is now part of the cross-party team  reviewing the implementation the new law, under the chairmanship of Lord Young.

“Social value is a win-win for everyone” said Blears in an upbeat assessment of the law. “It has massive potential to ensure that better value-for-money services are provided to improve life for our communities and to boost responsible local firms, social enterprises and charities by helping them to secure work and enhance their reputation.”

Audience views were in some cases more sceptical. Many speakers highlighted the problems that trying to evidence and measure social value poses.

Phil Loach, the chief fire officer for the West Midlands, highlighted public spending cuts (5:30). Prevention work and risk management have reduced incidents requiring fire service call-out in the WM by around 40%. But rather than being rewarded for this, “the government thinks we therefore need 40% fewer firefighters,” he explained. At one point — footage that didn’t make the final cut — he went on to make the point that the fire service knows it “does” social value, but struggles to articulate it.

That will be a view that resonates with many.

Guy Battle noted that many public authorities — and private businesses wanting to do public sector business too — are desperate for guidance.

Hazel Blears agreed strongly, saying that she hoped the present review process would result inn some light-touch practical guidance — something government has so far help off from issuing.

She reinforced this point saying that the aim now was to ensure that social value featured in all the 2015 general election manifestos. “Some people don’t believe that political manifestos are important, but I know they are,” she said. “I want to see half a page on social value, social enterprise and social investment in each of the manifestos — because when a new government comes in, the civil servants look at the manifestos and say, ‘This is the programme we’ve got to deliver in the next five years.'”

At the very least, events like this help stimulate debate — but in this case, it could also inform the current review process, and that’s a good thing.

Full disclosure: my own contribution ended up on the cutting room floor. That’s the nature of TV, but one can’t help but take it personally…

A big thank you to all the people at Boilerhouse Media who made this happen.

Watch the video.

New Ideas on Social Value – Confirmed Speakers



New Ideas on Social Value is just a month away and will showcase great examples of social impact and social value and highlight examples of best practice. The event features a range of speakers that have expertise in outcomes based commissioning, social impact measurement or co-production.

New Ideas on Social Value, provides an insight into this challenging area and will be of interest to commissioners in the public sector, local authority directorates and leaders in voluntary and social enterprise sectors.

Confirmed Speakers:

Paul Maubach, Cheif Accountable Officer for Dudley CCG, with be talking about new approaches that Dudley CCG have taken to work with and build the capacity of the VCSE Sector in Dudley.

Mark Ellerby, Director of Cloudberry, will demonstrating PSIAMS, a new impact  and Outcomes measurement CRM system that measures Social Value, Social Impact and Social Capital.

Charlotte Pace, Trainer and Facilitator for IVAR, will be highlighting local, regional and national initiates and schemes in the VCSE sector that are impacting on social value.

Sarah Crawlley, CEO of i-SE, will be be presenting about DESQ (Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter) and  the advantages of placed based social value.

To join the event please register here. Please note – VCSE Sector places are now full, but you can add yourself to the waiting list. A limited number of Commissioner, Funders and Stakeholder places are still available.


NIOSV - Supportes


Social enterprise walk — 26th Nov

Join iSE for the latest social enterprise walk – visit Digbeth social enterprises and find out first hand what makes them tick. Sensible shoes a must! Contact Marija at iSE on 0121 771 1411 to book or send her mail.

Birmingham City Council — social value and market-shaping conference

Birmingham City Council is holding a ‘market-shaping’ conference for suppliers and those wishing to be suppliers of services commissioned by the Directorate for People.

Social Value — Partners in Communities: Birmingham City Council Commissioning Conference takes place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Wednesday 12th November from 09.00am-4.45pm.

It is free and you can book here.

BCC says of the event:

This conference event will give providers an opportunity to learn more about the Social Value agenda and the benefits to the organisation.

The day will provide a mix of key note speeches (from both a political and operational perspective) and workshops, with a focus on Social Value and how the Council and service providers can work together to meet this agenda.

In line with the Council’s commitment to a mixed social care market, we warmly welcome service providers from across the 3rd Sector, not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Providers regardless of where they operate within the social care system, including universal and preventative, enabling, assessing and planning services as well as that delivering direct care provision are all very welcome.

New Ideas on Social Value – 12th December 2014


New Ideas on Social Value will showcase great examples of social impact and social value using local, regional and national initiatives to highlight best practice. The event will focus on outcomes based commissioning, social impact measurement and co-production.

New Ideas on Social Value, provides an insight into this challenging area and will be of interest to commissioners in the public sector, local authority directorates and leaders in voluntary and social enterprise sectors.

To join the event please register here.

This event is supported by

NIOSV - Supportes


Our Community CIC seeks voluntary advisors/non-exec directors

Advisor / Non-Exec Director Opportunities (unremunerated)

Our Community CIC is seeking volunteer advisors/non-exec directors (unpaid) to assist the social enterprise in three key areas of ‘expert support’:

  • Social Enterprise / SME Experience – to inform and guide its social enterprise ambitions, help refine and strengthen plans, provide practical expertise and
  • Finance / Admin ( esp. Social Return On Investment experience) – to help strengthen internal capacity and understanding, support future grant
    applications, contract bids and long term sustainability.
  • HR / Personnel Experience – help strengthen internal capacity and understanding, including recruitment, support and retention.


Interested? Please contact Basharat Dad CEO (0121 773 0749 / 0788 669 4544) or send mail.

More information — read the PDF.

Sustainable charities — free Birmingham seminar

Click to register at Eventbrite


Sponsored by Burton Sweet Chartered Accountants, the Sustainable Charities seminar will take place from 8.45am to 2pm on the 13th November 2014 at BVSC in Birmingham. Lunch will be included at 1pm.

The seminar includes talks from specialist advisors from Burton Sweet, as well guest speakers Richard Lowe, Managing Director of HR & Training Solutions Ltd, and Matt Daniels, Managing Director of Midan Ltd.

Recent Charity Commission research reveals worrying risks for the long term survival of some charities. This event will help participants maximise the impact of  scarce resources and adapt effectively to change.

This event will give you useful guidance, tips and advice to become a sustainable charity in today’s economy.


Opportunity to tender — Birmingham Changing Futures Together

BVSC is looking to appoint a single organisation to conduct a baseline study relating to a workstream within the Birmingham: Changing Futures Together Project.

This tender relates to the No Wrong Door Network, a network which will consist of a minimum of 15 agencies that will develop a shared approach to supporting people with multiple needs.

BVSC requires a consultant(s) to set out the current situation – a Birmingham baseline – with reference to the aims of the No Wrong Door Network and its development.

More information.

 You must register and express your interest on BVSC’s Supplier e-Tendering Portal to become involved in this tender exercise.

Once you have expressed your interest, you will be able to view the available tender documents.

The deadline for receipt of tenders is midday on 27 October 2014.

BVSC personnel should not be contacted directly — all communication concerning this procurement should be via the messaging service on the tendering website.

£7.6m, five years, help for 1000 unemployed young people — that’s Talent Match

The latest successful BIG Lottery-funded project  for Birmingham & Solihull is about to launch.

Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull, a pre-employment programme for 18-24 year olds, is officially launching with a week-long “roadshow” starting on 13 October 2014.

The MOVE truck will be pitching up at a variety of local hubs to meet local young adults who want to get into work.

If your organisation supports 18-24 year olds who have been out of work for 12 months or longer send them along to meet the Talent Match team at one of the stopping points during the week.

Likewise if you are a support worker or involved in an employment support programme for young adults, talk to the team to find out you can work collaboratively with the project.

Download the promotional pack with suggested tweets, press articles and links to website information.

The Lord Mayor is scheduled to visit the MOVE truck when it visits Centenary Square at 1.45pm on Tuesday 14 October.

Send mail for more information,  or call 0121 643 4343 (8) or tweet @talentmatch_

The roadshow schedule is:

  • Monday 13 October, 11am – 2pm: Price’s Square, Northfield
  • Tuesday 14 October, 10.30am – 4pm: Centenary Square, Birmingham
  • Wednesday 15 October, 10am – 4pm: Mell Square, Solihull
  • Thursday 16 October, 10am – 12pm: One Stop Shopping Centre, Perry Barr
  • Thursday 16 October, 1pm – 3pm: The Lighthouse, Lozells and East Handsworth
  • Thursday 16 October, 4pm – 6pm: Conker Island, Kingstanding
  • Friday 17 October, 10am – 12pm: Shard End Library
  • Friday 17 October, 1pm – 3pm: Cascades Shopping Centre, Stechford
  • Friday 17 October, 4pm – 6pm: Small Heath Asda
  • Saturday 18 October, 11am – 2pm: Cathedral Square, Birmingham
    Saturday 18 October, 3pm – 6pm: Star City, Aston

More on Talent Match employer engagement

More about Talent Match meetings and the partnership

View Talent Match promotional poster

Charitable Trusts West Midlands — consultancy opportunity


Charitable Trusts West Midlands, the membership association for trusts and foundations operating in the West Midlands, is seeking an appropriately skilled provider to undertake a marketing and communications review for the group, including marketing the network, improvement and development of copy, and marketing templates for communicating to existing membership and recruiting new members.

Read the brief here.

Download the brief and some associated papers in a zip file here.


Trading on the internet — workshop

Trading on the Internet, will be held on the 30th October from 9.30 – 12.30pm and will delivered by Nate and Martin from Citizen Click.  For bookings please contact Marija on 0121 771 1411 or send her mail.

Over 19 and unemployed? Want to boost your employability?

iSE has begun  a new programme to help unemployed over-19s gain skills and experience by volunteering in social enterprises. See the flyer below.

If you are interested please send mail to Emma Nugent or call 0121 771 1411 or simply pop in and see the folks at 23 Moseley Road, Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0HJ.

Poster for individuals-page-001

Government to review social value Act

Third Sector online has just announced that the government is planning a review of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to see whether it might be extended — for example, to cover the public purchase of goods, rather than only services, as the Act currently stipulates.

The Cabinet Office working group will be led by Lord Young, the PM’s adviser on enterprise, and will include Chris White MP, who introduced the original Private Member’s Bill which led to the Act, Hazel Blears MP, and Michael O’Toole, the first and now outgoing crown representative for the Voluntary Sector.

The review will invite comments and submissions and report in 2015.

Interestingly, amongst those quoted by Third Sector, Neil Cleeveley, acting CEO of NAVCA, says, “We want the social value act extended to cover all contracts, something they have already managed in Birmingham.”

This is perfectly true but probably still not widely known. As well as being amongst the first to adopt an explicit social value policy, Birmingham City Council also committed itself to applying the social value legislation as widely as possible — to goods as well as services, and to all contract values, not just those above the EU thresholds.

I believe that the work currently being undertaken by the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise & Governance — which we reported on in this report (p.5) — may be connected with the government’s review.

Interesting times. Watch this space.

Read more materials about social value

Birmingham City Council and social value

→ Useful resources

→  Social value — one year on

Key findings from two years’ work

→ All blog post tagged ‘social value’