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

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

The evidence builds – 3 more Inquiry reports released

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2Today we release three more reports from our Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services.

The first – The Rise and Influence of Social Enterprise, Social Investment and Public Service Mutualsfrom Les Huckfield of Glasgow Caledonian University. This elegant review documents how New Labour and Coalition governments, within a framework  of neo-liberal thinking, have introduced … Continue reading

Outsourcing and Commissioning – next 2 Inquiry reports now out

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2Today we launch the next two reports from our Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services.

The first “Outsourcing and the Voluntary Sector” by Laird Ryan explores the motivations, progress and impact of the Coalition government’s drive to privatise public services and how this has impacted on the voluntary sector in England. In surveying the … Continue reading

How come we didn’t know?

nhs for saleThe privatisation of our public services and common wealth is taking place with stealth and subterfuge, and at a great pace. Our money is going to multi-nationals such as SERCO, currently under investigation for falsification of data and sub-standard services. But there are ways to expose what is going on and get it into the public … Continue reading

The Future of Voluntary Services – 1st reports now available

do-nothing-go-forward-pic-monkey2In what is going to be a pretty massive release, we have today uploaded the first two of sixteen reports from our Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services. The general background to our Inquiry is provided by Dexter Whitfield’s ‘The Ideological Context’, which sketches out how neo-liberal ideas have damaged public services and the welfare … Continue reading

Making research accessible to practitioners

Listen to us cartoonThe results of research can be important in shaping and re-shaping our understandings and assumptions about our work and its effectiveness. But often academic research uses obscure language and is presented in ways that make practitioners lose the will to live. So we’ve been playing around with ways to make research more accessible and have … Continue reading

Flagship workfare scheme launch is delayed again following widespread voluntary sector opposition

Today, 2 June, is the deadline by which Community Work Placements – the flagship policy announcement at last year’s Conservative Party conference – were required by contract to be up and running [2]. But Keep Volunteering Voluntary, which represents the hundreds of voluntary sector organisations who have pledged not to take part in the scheme, Continue reading