Friday 21 May 2010

More is BIG and reunions

Let's not forget that there are four over arching themes for the new Coalition, as outlined in their Agreement yesterday.

One, cutting the deficit,

Two, reforming public services

Three, Big society and

Four, political reform and decentralisation.

The role of the third sector is to contribute across these themes so shall we should stop thinking silo or that we are only players in the big Society space.

For example our role in delivering public services is set to expand dramatically. That helps cut the deficit by cost effective services and it delivers services that are citizen focused and closer to communities. Much of the commentary has focused on social action and has forgotten that delivery role. That has the danger of again stereotyping our sector as only key to delivering volunteering and doing good works in communities. It forgets our economic role. ACEVO will continue to play that key leadership role in driving this agenda on behalf of the sector.

So it was good to see that our old friend Greg Clark MP, who was such an effective the third sector spokesperson for the Tories when Ed Miliband was Minister, has been talking about our delivery role.

He is the new 'decentralisation' minister. Greg Clark has said the coalition Government's plans will mean third sector organisations will have more freedom to decide how they run public services.

And meanwhile back in the Labour Party we see them conducting a leadership campaign that appears to be focusing almost entirely on what the candidates see as good for Labour Party members. Great to see Ed Miliband standing. As I predicted in my Blog years ago I see Ed as a future PM. Maybe it is going to happen!

But Ed and others will need to reflect on how they lost it with their third sector policies. It was clear they had become tired and run out of ideas. Worse still, they had become hopelessly compromised by the unions on public services. Typified by the preferred provider dispute. I wonder if Andy Burnham will become Labour's "preferred provider" of leadership services? But that is not my bet.

Talking of the unions I see that Tony Woodley of the union Unite has returned to his disgraceful attack on charities. He has asked Hutton, who is doing a review of public sector pay, to look at charities and whether we breach the new Dave rule of the top salary being no more than 20 times that of the lower. (We don't.)

Now as the combined General Secretaries of Unite are on over £320,000 (not even mentioning travel and housing perks) I guess that means that the lowest paid members of Unite are on at least 16k? And good thing too I'm sure. I shall write to Will Hutton and ask him to investigate union salaries just to make sure.

A great reunion earlier in the week. In March 2002 I attended the Civil Service's premier leadership programme, the Top Management Programme. I was on TMP 63 and our cohort group of 26 got together at L'Escargot in Soho on Wednesday to celebrate. As we are all getting older it was no surprise that three had retired; one to Portugal, one an executive chef in France and one, who used to be Deputy at an organisation with three initials beginning with M advising on security things.

But the rest of us are still at it. I said I was looking forward to my retirement in 20 years and my seat as an elected Senator in the upper chamber! But an exotic array of jobs around the table; someone working on the Budget, someone running the Olympics, someone in charge of air safety, Scottish Power, the Lottery, police, anti- terrorism and someone married to the Royal Family, to name a few!

1 comment:

Andrew Carmichael said...

anyone know yet what the future of the Future jobs Fund will be? the "Coalition:programme for government" was notably silent on that one -

"We will end all existing welfare to work programmes and create a single welfare to work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work"

Is FjF part of Welfare to Work? - I know you got the letter from Teresa May but that was before the coalition started. I like many organisations am getting great results from FjF - I have two contracts in delivery and another two waiting with DWP at contract stage. I would like to know ASAP if existing FjF contracts are going to run until the end date and if contracts that have been approved but are not yet in contract are going to get into contract.

Any information gladly recieved?