Borough Voluntary Organisations Advisory Group
What is the BVOAG?
The Borough Voluntary Organisations Advisory Group (BVOAG) is the formal mechanism by which the voluntary sector, with the help of elected representatives, is able to raise issues with councillors and cabinet members of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and directors of the local health services.
The voluntary and community sector is represented by fourteen elected representatives. This involves representation of the following areas:
- Community Centres x2
- Education x2
- Advice x2
- Health and Well-being x2
- Equality and Inclusivity x2
- Community Safety x1
- Social Enterprise x1
- Mental Health x1
- Volunteering x1
Plus one representative from the Kensington & Chelsea Social Council.
What does the BVOAG do?
The BVOAG voluntary sector representatives raise issues concerning the community and voluntary sector in order to:
- increase the Council's understanding of the voluntary sector
- enhance and improve the terms and conditions of the local voluntary sector
Similarly, the Council raises issues of concern at BVOAG meetings and consults with the elected sector representatives on developments that affect the community and voluntary sector.
The BVOAG does not have any official powers, but it does have influence, and can make recommendations to both the Council and the voluntary sector.
What do BVOAG representatives do?
Each year representatives are expected to attend three BVOAG meetings and three voluntary sector planning meetings. The BVOAG voluntary sector representatives are accountable to VOF and as such take it in turns to give reports back to this quarterly forum.
Very importantly, representatives must represent the interests of the voluntary sector as a whole and not just their own organisation.
The elections for the BVOAG voluntary sector representatives are held once every two years. The Social Council administers the election process. Written nominations are submitted in advance of the election date and voting is by secret ballot.
If the exact number of nominations as there are vacancies for any constituency are received in advance of the elections then these individuals are automatically elected. If more nominations, than there are vacancies are received then an election will take place. If fewer nominations than there are vacancies are received then elections to fill vacant positions will take place at the following VOF meeting.
Accountability to VOF
The BVOAG representatives take relevant issues raised at VOF meetings to BVOAG meetings. VOF members can approach BVOAG representatives at any time and ask that issues be taken to BVOAG. BVOAG representatives will take it in turns to give updates of key issues at each VOF meeting.
Replacing a BVOAG representative
If a BVOAG voluntary sector representative stands down for any reason, then the runner up in their constituency automatically fills the place. If there was not a runner up then an election will take place through VOF. The normal election process will be followed.