English second tier bodies have largely given up on retaining grant funding for voluntary groups but vigorous support for the virtues of grants over contracts persists in Wales. A recent BBC Wales report quoted Graham Benfield, Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, as saying the procurement process of offering and awarding contracts for … Continue reading
In an important new paper, Ursula Murray, from Birkbeck University of London, addresses many of the key issues of our ‘Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services’. Entitled ‘To what extent is the voluntary sector colonised by neo-liberal thinking?’, the paper examines the involvement of the voluntary sector in the dismantling of the welfare state, … Continue reading
Ian Jones, the Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, has written to the Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee complaining that local services are being taken over by large corporations focussing on “profit, not people”. The letter advocates that outsourced public services providers should be restricted to small local businesses, charities and social enterprises that … Continue reading
State of the Voluntary Services Sector – here Bob Baker, Director of the Simon Community, writes in a personal capacity…..
“The so called voluntary sector is in a pretty parlous state particularly when it comes to any notion of resistance. I think that changes over the past 30 years have had really corrosive effects. One … Continue reading
In hard hitting evidence to the Baring’s Panel on Independence, commentator Les Huckfield accused lambasted the “London-centric” ‘leaders’ of the voluntary sector. “Rather than protecting voluntary and community organisations from the effects of Government policies and supporting their independence from Government,” he said, “national Third Sector Organisations have assisted and supported Government initiatives to fashion … Continue reading
Mark Restall, from the world of volunteering, tell us how volunteering has never been higher on the political agenda. Government ministers and voluntary sector Chief Executives love to tell us how important it is. He says, “I know it’s hard to believe, but I get the impression that they don’t actually understand voluntary work at … Continue reading
Message from 38 Degrees… please act now! It’s being called backdoor NHS privatisation. And if we want to stop it, what happens in Parliament this week is crucial. Some Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs have tabled a motion demanding the NHS privatisation plan be immediately withdrawn.  As of last Monday, only 72 MPs … Continue reading
Bucking the trend towards mergers, acquisitions and single contracts to corporate predators, positive news is coming in from West Sussex, where fresh agreements between the local authorities and the County’s seven CVSs explicitly recognise the importance of locally accountable provision.
Several years ago, the County was a focus of an NCIA study into the effects … Continue reading
One of the strongest features of 2012 was the obvious drift of the voluntary services sector towards a government-inspired vision of contracted and sub-contracted welfare providers, modelled on private business styles and practices, or shoehorned into ‘social enterprise’. And with this has come a deafening silence in speaking out against the privation and injustice being … Continue reading
Sign the letter below and add your name to the growing discontent.
In a letter to Sajid Javid, economic secretary to the treasury, fourteen “leaders from the voluntary sector” have told the government that the sector “stands ready” to implement government plans to privatise public services, cut benefits and entitlements and encourage volunteering as a … Continue reading