Community Justice Voluntary Sector Network
Draft Minutes of Steering Group meeting
Friday 22 June 2007
Baltic House, Cardiff Bay
Chris Arnold SOVA (Cymru) Wales (Chair)
Sandra Taylor SOVA and WCVA CJ Board member
Malcolm Thompson Clinks
Nesta Lloyd Jones Welsh Women‟s Aid
JP Williams CAIS
Jon Trew Victim Support Wales
Susan Cousins Safer Merthyr Tydfil
Pat Dunmore Rainer ctc Wales
Delyth Higgins WCVA (Secretariat)
Carol Smith WCVA
David Emery Swansea community chaplaincy
Richard Evans Community Justice Interventions Wales
Anne Newhall Nacro Cymru
1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
Chris Arnold as Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting and apologies were noted.
Chris flagged up the need for regular elections. The Terms of Reference will be changed
to enable the steering group to put forward nominations for membership of the steering
group, so that a good cross mix of representation can be achieved.
2. Minutes of the last meeting (23 March)
These were accepted as a true and accurate record, noting the following changes:
Need to add Nesta Lloyd Jones to the apologies list
Point 3 - NOMS – Welsh Affairs Committee – „Welsh Prisoners in the Prison Estate‟
includes recommendations around mental health.
Action: Jon Trew to send electronic copy to Delyth to circulate.
Sian West, ROM, leaves at the end of the month – to become Governor of Cardiff Prison.
Yvonne Thomas is the new ROM (NOMS in Wales). NOMS Board – approves all
documents that come out of NOMS – will be having its second or third meeting.
Point 8 - Convergence Fund – could be used for offender resettlement in Wales – several
meetings with probation and NOMS but there are problems.
Jon mentioned that if want to bid for probation service or prison service – do it direct, not to
NOMS. Chris – WEFO will not fund existing services. Must be new so anything already
identified in Pathways can‟t get funding for this. Guidance will be on WEFO‟s website
from early July. Nothing in the pathway action plans can be funded through convergence
fund – has to be additional, not existing. Key point – get any ideas on to WEFO‟s website,
though not sure re: match funding requirements.
WCVA Board – has asked Graham Benfield to ask Yvonne to suggest a meeting between
statutory and partner agencies.
CA – recommend GB to talk to Yvonne – new ROM re: convergence fund – needs a
meeting between NOMS, probation and prison and preferred partners - in order to
consider putting in bid. WCVA could offer briefing to her re: European funding. We need
to keep them informed of voluntary sector activity.
Action: GB to talk to Yvonne Thomas
Sue C – voluntary sector needs to come up with ideas first and not just look at NOMS.
JPW – need to take advantage of convergence fund. Do we have a map of who does
what within the sector/what are the gaps/how can it be improved upon etc?
Malcolm – NOMS National Provider Network – an online registration process about
interests to bid in future. Delyth explained that a CD will be available about who‟s
Action: Delyth to get CD Rom from Jim A’Herne about NPN breakdown for Wales.
Point 5 – Chris reported that the next VSPC meeting was next Monday.
3. Feedback from the network’s meeting with the Probation Service
Sandra fed back that she and Graham Benfield had met with four Probation Officers.
Handout has already been circulated. The meeting covered what voluntary sector is all
about and WCVA‟s role. The probation service meet every 6 months, with the next
meeting on 5th December – they will rent WCVA‟s meeting rooms. It was suggested that
CJ network and Substance Misuse Network link in with this. WCVA to call meeting – GB
happy to do what steering group want from this.
4. Update on the new Assembly Government – portfolios etc.
Delyth gave an update on the new Assembly Government and circulated information
outlining the changes. Andrew Davies is the Minister for Social Justice and Local
5. Action planning for next year
Need to decide what issues we‟re going to cover and how to progress them. It was agreed
that this would be a standing item on the agenda. There is a need to be clear about
Sue C - suggested Young People and Children and parents, and women offenders – from
the Community Safety point of view. Another issue at the moment is „prolific offenders‟ . –
how voluntary sector is engaged with that - not NOMS.
Action: Chris to send Wales YOT’s report to Delyth to circulate with the minutes.
Nesta referred to a report re: women in prison.
Action: WCVA to look for new members of the steering group: Accommodation -
maybe approach Shelter? BME groups?
There is an issue around the inequity for young people regarding housing benefit.
Sandra pointed out that there are no BME people on YOTs.
JP Williams – need research/evidence-based information re: early
intervention/preventative work - being able to demonstrate voluntary sector activity around
prevention – how we save money etc.
Jon - Restorative justice – issue for this year
It was agreed to look at the following five issues:
Young people and parents/children/vulnerable women
Action: each person to bring key issues on each of the 5 to the next meeting. These
will be discussed and action plans agreed.
6. WAG policy / Home Office policy
Some things being devolved and others not. Fault line emerges when e.g. releasing
offenders (Home Office) – housing (WAG).
Malcolm – ministry of justice. Issues around community safety/prisons/probations etc. Also
have Home Office – Police and then WAG.
Sue C – if management / future of community justice is a problem, let Ministers know. Jon
Trew – Welsh language issues around HO publications – lack of bilingual provision,
especially when talking about children as 26% are in Welsh medium schools.
Key non-devolved areas are:
Steering group – Terms of reference – channel for voluntary sector to feed in views –
reporting to the minister – lack of clarity.
To show positive example – substance misuse is devolved and working well.
7. Formation of the new Voluntary and Faith Sector NOMS Wales Board
To oversee action plans of all the pathways a scrutinising group to ensure that voluntary
sector interests are taken on board.
Malcolm Thompson – Clinks
Aneurin Owen – Cais
Jon Trew – Victim Support Wales
Ann Newhall – Nacro
Action: Delyth to e-mail Jim Aherne
8. Issues to raise at Ministerial meetings or VSPC meeting
9. General information sharing by members of the steering group
Malcolm – arranged a seminar last week with chief executives of larger national voluntary
organisations in England, who work with offenders, or want to. The importance of linking
in with local authorities regarding offenders services was highlighted and the need to
engage with local agendas.
Action: Malcolm will send report to Carol when available – to circulate to group.
Nesta Lloyd Jones:
1. Given accredited support provider status to their members.
2. Will be 8 new registered children‟s workers (one national, 7 regional) from
September and a training co-ordinator
3. Within the next month – annual statistical report for 2006/07 (only in draft) looks at
areas such as mental health/drug users/refuge users/number of children – at risk
1. 16th June, Victim Support became one charity for England and Wales. Still
negotiating about status of Wales – maybe a subsidiary charity.
2. Major announcement soon on Victim Care Units (VCU) an enhanced service which
will be rolled out UK wide. Every victim will be contacted by VCU and will go
through a needs assessment by phone. VS will commission services to these
people for anything they need??
Pat Dunmore – Rainer CtC Wales:
CtC has merged with Rainer. Still doing CtC stuff! Admin/backroom stuff done centrally.
Key areas of work, for people in the youth justice system, include:
- education and training
- perceive - who do we talk to? Maybe we need to broaden horizons? Evolving agenda
around – sentencers and diversions. Unpaid work. How do we make best use of the
Department for Social Justice and Local Government.
- Communities Directorate/Community Safety Division – how do we engage with that?
The real impact that they have. Scope and potential to work with them.
Sandra is the CJ representative to WCVA Board. „At a meeting yesterday there was
discussion on the Vulnerable Groups Act‟ – “Vetting, barring Scheme” from November
- Online facility to check if there have been any changes in details etc.
There is a criminal records unit person in WCVA – keep informed.
It was suggested that a paper for voluntary organisations is needed on the types of
structure organisations may want to consider when working in Wales e.g. Limited
Company, Federation, Charitable Company, Industrial Friendly Provident Society, etc.
There is a need for information on the options and give examples of which organisations
follow which structure. Some structures will be more appropriate if only devolved issues
are being covered. The paper will need to be understandable by those who don‟t work in
Action : WCVA to take forward
10. Any other business
NOMS Volunteering strategy
Action: Delyth to circulate copies. It is also available on the NOMS website. Comments
to be sent to Carol Smith to collate, then forward to Sue Pickavance, WCVA.
Skills for Justice – Does the network want to engage more with them and bring issues
Action: Invite Richard Jones from Skills for Justice to come to next meeting
Date for next meeting was changed from 21st September to 28th September.
Venue – SOVA‟s offices at Ladywell House, Newtown.
Date for December meeting was arranged for 14th December but if the probation meeting
is to happen on 5th December, then we can rearrange it to this. The time will be arranged
around when we will meet with Probation.