Role of the VCS Liaison Group

The VCS Liaison Group works in partnership for the benefit and support of local communities in Northumberland. It was established as a forum for County Councillors with an interest in the sector and nominated VCS representatives to work in partnership to identify mutual opportunities and common concerns to ensure effective collaboration and support to the voluntary and community sector.

The group operates as a strategic forum to develop partnership working for the benefit and support of local communities in Northumberland, informing Cabinet, where appropriate, of issues that need addressing.

It will do this by:-

  • Providing a single point of contact for engagement between Northumberland County Council and Northumberland VCS on relevant strategic issues
  • Facilitating opportunities for gaining sector perspectives to influence future Council polities and strategies.
  • Scrutinising and supporting implementation of work in the sector to maximise opportunities and address issues
  • Identifying, discussing and supporting the implementation of mutual opportunities, sharing and addressing issues and common concerns and seeking mutually acceptable solutions to issues.
  • Identifying opportunities for integrated commissioning of services through co-design across sectors.
  • Measuring outcomes and communicating how the group has made a difference through partnership working in supporting local communities
  • Supporting the Council in development of policies and strategies, especially those surrounding Asset Based Community models where the VCS is more often best placed to deliver.
  • Identifying opportunities for NCC and the VCS in the context of the North of Tyne Combined Authority (particularly the inclusive growth ambitions) and North East Local Enterprise Partnership.



Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent (updated October 2018) sets out the principles of how Northumberland County Council and the VCS Assembly will work together to address the challenges and opportunities for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Northumberland’s communities and residents

Northumberland County Council and the VCS Assembly will work together to:


Promote, raise awareness and use Northumberland VCS Assembly as the point of contact for communication and engagement and providing a collective voice for the voluntary and community sector:

  • Ensure issues arising from the VCS Liaison Group, where appropriate, go to Cabinet for comment and consideration and that issues raised at Council meetings relevant to the VCS are referred to the VCS Liaison Group or VCS Assembly as appropriate
  • Ensure communication is accessible and is widely disseminated through appropriate networks


Promote what the voluntary and community sector and Northumberland County Council are doing in partnership and can do collectively using capacity and skills to co-design and co-produce services that meet community needs, sharing information and promoting good practice:

  • Involve the VCS as equal partners in the development of policies, programmes, strategies and commissioning that impact on the VCS
  • Support the Council in delivering objectives, promoting and responding to public sector consultations
  • Share information with wider public services, e.g. NHS, police


Provide advice and support on issues and address the challenges faced by the voluntary and community sector and Northumberland County Council:

  • For example, discuss the impact of funding decisions and procurement processes, including social value


Raise the profile of the voluntary and community sector internally identifying how services can complement each other and provide added value:

  • Support the development and continuity of a vibrant voluntary and community sector



 Notes from Meetings