Thursday, 27 February 2014

North after a late night - and a letter from the Prime Minister

Leeds again this morning. And I took my umbrella and didn't use it. I'd have worn my great Harris tweed cloth cap too if I hadn't managed to leave it on the 59 bus (if you find it let me know...)

Meeting with the Commissioning Support Network, the group of organisations that support the CCGs in their new commissioning role. We were talking about how to increase third sector exposure to the new structures and tendering arrangements. This is a great opportunity. I spoke about our recent discussions with Addenbrookes.

A little bleary this morning as I had dinner last night with Paul Streets of the Lloyds Bank Foundation. Eating at Roast, the marvellous restaurant in the Borough Market (which is a charity as well as the place to buy your organic and fresh produce!). Paul is doing a great job there and he's an ACEVO member obviously. He used to run Diabetes UK before joining the DH! He is now back in our sector where he should be.

I was also pleased to have a personal letter yesterday from our dear Prime Minister, in response to my letter earlier this month about the government's Lobbying Act. He promised it would not affect the majority of charities, and that we would get a meaningful input into the 2015 review of the Act if he got his way. All very well, I suppose, but the proof is ultimately in the doing. How much the Act will stop our sector speaking out before the election remains to be seen. Many Chief Executives are rightly concerned. ACEVO will be watching closely!

And I'm now heading back to London for the 40th anniversary dinner for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace). It'll be good to catch up with old mates from my days in local government. But I shall probably feel rather poor in comparison with them these days!

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