Are you an organisation or a movement?

On 22 November, in his final address to a NAVCA conference, Kevin Curley asserted his belief that the work of infrastructure organisations should not be values neutral. He said: “I was dismayed when Turning Point and Catch 22 – two great national charities – formed a consortium with Serco to build and run two new … Continue reading

Mad world, my masters: CVS says no to transforming local infrastructure

Adur Voluntary Action has opted out of bids for the transforming local infrastructure fund. Adrian Barritt explains the practical and philosophical concerns that led to the decision

What is infrastructure anyway?

To me, infrastructure used to mean something military, or the foundations of a building – until I studied social science. Then I learned that … Continue reading

A personal take on the voluntary sector’s dilemma

Photo of Sarah LambSarah Lamb, trustee of Adur Voluntary Action and a lifelong volunteer, explains why the Transforming Local Infrastructure scheme won’t work

The beauty of the voluntary sector has been, and still is in many instances, precisely the fact that the solutions it finds, the ways it relates to the people it serves and the people it … Continue reading

An essay on the ‘big society’

John SeddonJohn Seddon reflects on how a systems thinking method has improved public services but is now under threat from cuts, commissioning and ‘big society’ as the government fails to move beyond central control and large-scale initiatives.

David Cameron described the ‘big society’ as a ‘culture change’, where people are free and powerful enough to help … Continue reading

Disabling local infrastructure

Colleagues at Adur Voluntary Action set out what’s wrong with the Transforming Local Infrastructure scheme and ask key questions to help us find an alternative.

The UK Office for Civil Society’s Transforming Local Infrastructure scheme offers £50m to fund local support organisations to merge, collaborate and  share services such as IT. The funding is short … Continue reading

Interviewing the real ‘big society’

Photo of Sarah LambSarah Lamb is a trustee of Adur Voluntary Action. She was one of the people who contributed to qualitative research in 2009 on The local state and voluntary action in West Sussex which showed the damage commissioning does. NCIA caught up with her to find out how things have been going over the last 18 … Continue reading

Delayed compact is definitely useless

The latest version of the compact – the bit of paper that reckons to set out a more equal relationship between voluntary organisations and the government – has now been put off indefinitely.

We’re not too worried as the compact continues to ignore the bulk of small scale voluntary action. Meanwhile the compact industry sucks … Continue reading

Voluntary action and privatisation

The article below appeared in the Winter 2005/6 issue (No. 34) of Green Socialist magazine (quarterly journal of the Alliance for Green Socialism). The author retains copyright but it may be reproduced and quoted as long as the author and Green Socialist magazine are given acknowledgement.

The Voluntary Sector and Privatisation

Privatisation may be primarily
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