Monday 23 January 2012

Reclaim the parks

A weekend in London so a tour of the South London parks with the Hound. Brockwell Park, Dulwich and Ruskin. But somehow they all exude an air of municipalism. Can we not do better? The worst was definitely ruskin where whole sections are fenced off with nasty signs saying " no dogs". The Hound rightly ignored such fascist instructions.

The shame! The missing Hepworth sculpture in Dulwich Park. Give it back

Here is a prime case for the third sector to take over. I have already told Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council , if he really believes in a cooperative council give me Brockwell Park.

As I told him I already actually own it. A little known fact but Brockwell Park was purchased out of the Charitable funds that resulted from the Charity Commission reorganisation of the endowments of the City of London Parishes. In those days we had a robust Commission that believed in radical steps to reform and reorganise charities when it was obvious they were not fit for purpose ( why they were even known to close down public schools when they broke their charters by educating rich kids when their founders said they had to educate the poor! ).

And in those days they even made visitations to charities on horseback. I'm sure Suzi and Sam would look great in jodphurs!

But back to the point. I think a partnership between a number of local and national charities and social enterprises ( like BTCV- Tom is up for it ) could revitalise Brockwell. So Steve ; bring it on.

The work programme has come in for some adverse publicity in recent weeks. I have my criticisms, which I won't shy from making. But we also need to be constructive about making it work and arguing to change it for the better . So ACEVO is working with ERSA and NCVO to develop a good practice guide on supply chain relationships within the welfare to work arena. We are looking for case studies of good practice, so click here ( to find out more details about the guide, express your interest and submit case studies.

And now I'm off to DWP to talk about this. A good day to do that with the Bishops lining up in the Lords today. The Children's Society have produced some compelling evidence on the potential effect of change on child poverty. They should be listened to. I know IDS cares about such things and he will listen and , I believe, changes will be made.

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