Scottish Government
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Importance of Third Sector

The importance of establishing a successful relationship between Government and the Third Sector is captured in a joint statement published today.

The statement, signed by the Scottish Government, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), represents an important milestone in efforts to create partnerships and encourage joint working in Community Planning Partnerships throughout Scotland.

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, said:

"Scotland's Third Sector makes a direct impact on the growth of Scotland's economy, the wellbeing of its citizens and the improvement of its public services, particularly at a local level.

"That's why we are committed to the development of an enterprising Third Sector in Scotland and are providing increased support for the sector.

"The joint statement sets out our shared determination, together with COSLA, SOLACE and SCVO, to ensuring a supportive and sustainable relationship between Government and the Third Sector."

Cllr Harry McGuigan, COSLA Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Safety, said:

"This joint statement is a strong foundation on which to build a modern partnership with the Third Sector. It shows clear commitment not only to ensuring sustainability in the sector but also to continuing to develop effective relationships at every level. It is not the whole answer. The difficult part will be implementing it. But I am very encouraged and look forward to furthering our shared vision to the benefit of communities across Scotland."

David Anderson, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council and representative of SOLACE (Scotland), said:

"The publication of this joint statement is both timely and important. Given the tightening of public finances, and rising levels of demand for services, it is more important than ever for local authorities and Third Sector organisations to work together effectively in delivering improved outcomes for local communities.

"SOLACE is confident that the joint statement will help forge even stronger relationships at the local level between Third Sector organisations and local authorities. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, COSLA and SCVO to progress the various areas of the agreement."

Dr Alison Elliot, Convener of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said:

"I am pleased that SCVO has agreed this statement with our partners in both local government and the Scottish Government. The joint statement demonstrates that a partnership approach between the public sector and Third Sector can deliver for all involved.

"There are a number of key areas that this joint statement progresses, which when implemented will significantly improve the operating environment for Third Sector organisations at the local level. These include the agreement that local Third Sector organisations should be intrinsically involved in developing Single Outcome Agreements and Community Planning Partnerships as well as some important steps forward in relation to funding.

"There are many additional areas where the Third Sector would welcome agreement from our partners in local authorities and the Scottish Government and I look forward to continuing to work together to further improve the delivery of public services and the sustainability of the Third Sector."

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