Our Place Our Future sparks conference debate

A discussion around priorities for Inverclyde sparked off the debate at the annual third sector conference, Our Place Our Future, which took place at the Beacon Arts Centre this morning.

The annual event, organised by CVS Inverclyde, focused on findings from the recent Inverclyde-wide community engagement survey, Our Place Our Future. This gathered the opinions of local residents across a wide range of themes to help inform the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP), which is the strategy of priorities for Inverclyde over the coming years.

Key priorities covered included poverty, reducing inequalities, repopulation and environment.

An audience debate hosted by Annie Gunner Logan, Director of the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS), invited questions from delegates directed to the panel - Stephen McCabe, Leader, Inverclyde Council and Chair of the Inverclyde Alliance; Kevin Scarlett, Chief Executive, River Clyde Homes; Allan Johnstone, Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Scotland; and Ian Bruce, Chief Executive Officer, CVS Inverclyde.

"We enjoyed another great line up of participants at the Our Place Our Future conference, coupled with informative workshop sessions and the chance for delegates to network, as well as visit stalls run by a variety of organisations," said CVS Inverclyde Chief Executive Ian Bruce.

"We are currently working with Inverclyde Council and other agencies in the Inverclyde Alliance, the community planning partnership, to help turn views into the LOIP. This high level strategic document sets out the vision and priorities, which our Alliance partners, including communities, will seek to deliver on over the next five years. This was a great opportunity for us to engage directly with local organisations on what these findings mean to them."

Conference workshops included sessions that delved further into the Our Place Our Future survey, and what it means to the third sector, by Inverclyde Council's Corporate Policy and Partnership Manager, Miriam McKenna. Alison Johnston, Lead Policy Officer – Scotland for the Information Commissioner's Office, talked about what the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) means to organisations and how to prepare for its introduction next spring.

There was a taster session from the Trust Volunteering team on how to involve both younger and older volunteers, as well as looking at intergenerational opportunities. Participatory Budgeting, which is about giving people a bigger role in delivering services and ensuring public money is well spent, was covered by industry expert and director of PB Partners, Jez Hall.

Asset transfer requests were covered by David Henderson, an advisor with the Community Ownership Support Service, and a session on what you need to know about fundraising was delivered by CVS Inverclyde Strategic Investment Officer, Susan Robinson.

Many thanks go to conference sponsors, the Oak Mall Shopping Centre and Love & Humphries, and to West College Scotland whose students were on hand to film the event for Inverclyde TV.

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