Localism ‘rights’ – the right to very little at all

We the PeopleThe right to very little at all: NCIA submits evidence to House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee

The Localism Act 2011 offers communities a set of new ‘rights’. They may now challenge councils to run public services, bid for ‘assets of community value’, build local facilities and make statutory neighbourhood plans.  As … Continue reading

What the Labour Party has in store for us

under contractWe thought that Lisa Nandy MP, Labour Shadow Minister for Civil Society, might bring a fresh and enquiring eye to the tired politics we are used to. We were wrong. The message we take from the Labour Party “consultation with the third sector” is that Labour will do just the same as the Tories but hope to do it … Continue reading

Northern Ireland and Scotland – the same or different?

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2Two more Inquiry reports are released today. ‘Lenin’s Useful Idiots? Voluntary Action and Public Service Reform in Northern Ireland, from Nick Acheson of the University of Ulster, reviews recent developments in relations between voluntary agencies and the devolved administration. It summarises the main similarities and differences between Northern Ireland and the other jurisdictions in … Continue reading

The Failure of Leadership

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2‘Leadership’ groups, at both national and local levels, have failed to protect voluntary services groups and their users and communities from the damaging changes of the last decade. This is the broad conclusion of two Inquiry reports released today.

The position and role of national infrastructure bodies concerning the cuts to and privatisation of public Continue reading

Big Society unravels

Image by Dmitry Bogdanov / wikimedia commonsEver wondered where our money goes? The National  Audit Office has. So has Adur Voluntary Action, who are “mega pissed off” by the grim story painted by Radio 4′s analysis last night of the chaos that is the Big Society Network. “The receipt, and use, of funds by the Big Society Network’s associated projects…is a grim story for … Continue reading

Two more Inquiry reports – with a focus on minorities

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2Most of our Inquiry reports focus on the voluntary services ‘industry’ in general. But the history both of government policy and of voluntary sector services has shown that minorities, and especially ethnic minorities, repeatedly fare worse than other sections of the population. So today we are releasing two reports that focus on aspects of this … Continue reading

Silencing dissent – it’s a global thing

gaggingYou know those gagging laws and clauses we’re faced with in UK? Well, don’t take it personally. It’s a global thing. In Australia, new conditions , which come into force on July 1st 2014, specifically state that organisations cannot use Commonwealth money for any activity directed towards law reform or advocacy. The federal government is starting with … Continue reading

Peterborough Prison and Social Impact Bonds – what’s going on?

Kenneth Clarke, then justice secretary, talks to an inmate at Peterborough prison in 2010Recently the Government announced that it was pulling the plug on the Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bond (SIB) pilot, despite an interim evaluation showing “promising results”. This scheme – due to have run for seven years instead of the three now planned - has been dragged round the conference circuit now for several years by ministers, civil … Continue reading