December 2010

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued Invitations to Tender (ITT) to those contractors accepted on to the framework for employment-related support services.

Two Cornwall Council employees who provide equipment for people with disabilities have won a national customer service award. Lyn Palmer and Derek Hill, who both work at Tremorvah Industries, have jointly received the Employee of the Year award from the British Healthcare Trades Association.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Employer of Choice Awards have now become a regular calendar event for employers across the west midlands and is becoming a major award to publicly recognise organisations that are developing good employment practices and to celebrate employers' achievements in the development of work life balance and health and wellbeing. The initiative is presented jointly by Coventry and Warwickshire County Councils to host.

A renewed Compact - the agreement which governs relations between the Government and civil society organisations in England - has been published today by Government and Compact Voice, the organisation which represents civil society organisations on the Compact.

The Guardian is bringing together a panel with a wide range of experience - from the support and commissioning bodies through to the social enterprises with experience of the process - to discuss how to get the best and avoid the worst in collaboration. The event, entitled Live Q&A: Working in collaboration and consortia is being promoted by the Guardian's social enterprise network. They will be online from 12pm to 3pm on 17 December to take your questions, provide advice and talk about their own experiences.

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, has announced that the Independent Living Fund will remain closed permanently to new applications.

The Localism Bill, announced on 13 December, will enshrine in law rights for community and voluntary groups to draw on when determining what happens in their local area.

The Government has announced that £800 million will be set aside to support families.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, has published the Modernising Commissioning Green Paper which asks for views on how the Government can create a level playing field for charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises that want to bid for public service contracts. Please complete our online questionnaire by 24 December: Click here to take part in the survey

Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, has written to voluntary sector providers regarding the procurement of the Work Programme.