Good news from the DWP!

Our Right to Bid proposal for a £2.2 million programme of activity in 15 different areas across the UK has got through the latest stage of assessment from the DWP. At a two day meeting held in Sheffield on 27th – 28th May, civil servants from across the Department considered several Right to Bid proposals and the Community Allowance pilot programe was one of the few to go through to the next stage.

A civil servant from DWP said they were “very keen on the Community Allowance proposal, but could give no guarantees at this stage that it would definitely go ahead”. The bid will go through a further scrutiny process within DWP with operational and policy staff exploring the impact a pilot programme would have on the DWP’s work. DWP indicated that they are more likely to approve a pilot of ESA/IB client groups rather than JSA as there have been so many initiatives aimed at this group in the recent budget.

The DWP indicated that the Right to Bid process should come to an end in a matter of weeks, but is unable to give a definite date as this is the first time the Department has run an initiative like this.

We’ll keep you up to date with the negotiations through the blog – let us know what you think of the progress so far.


One response to “Good news from the DWP!

  1. Well done everyone – it’s been a long slog so far and there’s a long way to go. But it makes total sense that community organisations – trusted, in-touch, on-side, local and aiming to be there forever – should be able to employ local people to do the work that needs doing in their own neighbourhoods.

    In ‘good times’ and bad, a lot of this work is sessional, part-time, short-term, close-to-home. It’s the obvious stuff – childcare, playschemes, youth work, school crossing patrols, clean-ups, health promotion, parent links, debt counselling, driving people around, advocating, befriending… the list has always been long in poor neighbourhoods. It just feels even more necessary now.

    I’m glad DWP are ‘very keen’, despite all the options they leave open and the inevitable further delays before we can get on with this most obvious step.

    If your organisation would like to be a Community Allowance pilot – please prepare now so we can make this work. We have to find 15 superb projects (10 in England, 2 in Scotland, 2 in Wales, 1 in Northern Ireland) to prove that the Community Allowance makes sense – whoever’s in government.
    Then, if we keep up the pressure, we can roll it out to all communities that want it and civil society can start punching its true weight in local economies.

    Jess Steele, chair of the CREATE Consortium

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