The introduction of a strategy and policies to manage thousands of volunteers who help maintain board services should not "scare off" potential recruits, a meeting said.

The executive of the North Yorkshire County Council was informed that while the authority had attracted 6,300 volunteers to ensure that essential and popular services were maintained despite declining government funding, it became clear that Board's inconsistent approach to unpaid help was to end.

Lead members of the authority clearly intended to set policies on operational issues such as spending and training to ensure that volunteers were properly valued and supported fairly.

Neil Irving, Deputy Director of Policy, Partnerships and Communities Council, said volunteers and volunteers coordinators helped shape the strategy, which would ensure that "the management and support of volunteers be optimized for the benefit of the authority and volunteers. ".

He told the meeting that the strategy and policies being developed should also serve as a model for partner organizations that contribute to the delivery of board services, for example the 1,700 community and hybrid library volunteers and the 3,300 school governors.

Mr. Irving stated that during the development of the strategy, the board received "many positive messages from our volunteers and many good practices that they observed, but they also recognized some inconsistencies in the reinvention of the wheel in the board ".

He added, "What has also come out very clearly is that many of our volunteers are interested in doing more than just the opportunity for which they have signed up. Therefore, the fact that we have always been perceived as individual services did not help. process."

Councilor Derek Bastiman asked if the implementation of a strategy and policies by the council had caused a drop in the number of volunteers, fearing that this would "scare people."

Mr. Irving responded, "What we have actually seen through the project and the better marketing has resulted in a clear increase in the number of people inquiring about volunteering with the board. For example, the improved information on our website has resulted in a very dramatic increase, which we are very happy about.

"I hope to have a clearer strategy and policies will not put people in question. I think inevitably there could be people if the circumstances changed slightly, but we do not go to the lowest common denominator, we try to set principles, and where there are costs and help involved, push them as close as possible to those who propose staff, recognizing that it is not an employment situation. "