This National Compact Week (5-9 November) the Merton Partnership brought together MPs, borough fire and police chiefs, councillors, NHS and voluntary organisations from across the country to hear about how Merton continues to implement a successful programme of partnership working to the benefit of the community. In the same week, Merton also learned of its success in winning two Compact Awards: Merton Youth Partnership won the Compact Innovation Award and Chief Executive of Merton Voluntary Service Council in south west London, Chris Frost, won the Compact Leadership Award.
At the partnership’s special conference this week, Working together, better together in Merton, saw Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd MP launch a new partnership project called Merton-i (www.merton.gov.uk/merton-i), an online one-stop-shop for information on care, support and wellbeing services in the borough. Merton Council’s chief executive Ged Curran also announced the borough’s new Grants Programme which will help fund community voluntary groups to deliver projects which will contribute to Merton’s Community Plan.
Leader of Merton Council and chair of Merton Partnership, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, welcomed the Minister to the event at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which was packed with representatives from 17 other London boroughs, a variety of agencies including the NHS, police and fire services as well as national and regional charities.
A number of representatives from different public organisations in the Merton Partnership gave practical examples about how partnership working in Merton has been and continues to be so successful. Examples came from the borough commanders of Merton police and Merton fire services, the borough’s Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, Merton Council and Merton Voluntary Service Council.
Nick Hurd MP said: “It is great to see a borough doing so much good work with all its partners successfully coming together for the benefit of local residents. Communities are working together like never before and Merton is a leading light in partnership working for the rest of the UK to follow.”
Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “Merton has an excellent track record when it comes to partnership working. Winning a national Compact Award for the last seven years is testament to the hard work of all the partnership organisations and the successful way in which it carries out its work. We have a good model which we want to share with other public sector organisations. Our belief in the effectiveness of partnership working means that we continue to invest in this area. Our new Grants Programme shows how we are bucking the trend nationally and continue to fund, through various grants, Merton’s successful partnership programme.”
Chair of Compact Voice, Simon Blake said: “It has been wonderful to hear all the great examples of how a diverse range of organistations can successfully work together for the benefit of the community. It is the voluntary sector which can go where angels fear to tread. This is what makes it so effective in partnership with other organisations which may have more constraints to deal with. The voluntary sector can be creative, drive change and add a huge amount of value to organisations’ work.”