Wednesday 12 May 2010

Into action

All go at ACEVO towers. Letter off to Chancellor this morning. He spoke at our summit and accepted the " Big Offer" I made to him about how to cut the national debt through cost effective service delivery by the third sector. So I have made a further offer; to pull together a taskforce of senior officials in the Treasury and sector leaders.

Some interesting appointments; various people I know well like Eric Pickles from his days when we were both in Metropolitan local Government circles, and Chris Huhne who was a member of the Labour club at Oxford when I was Chair!Not to mention my constituency MP , the new PM ( Nick Hurd is the constituency MP of my Chair)!

Amusing stories floating around about what we should call the Government. Cleggon? Or as my friend the headhunter David Fielding suggested Camegg or Condem?

So the deal is for a full 5 year term. I don't see that myself, but given the problem of the ntional debt it is our job to get on and see how we can support the Government in tackling it.

This result offers a great opportunity to work with the coalition Government to deliver stronger communities and a bigger role for the sector in delivering citizen focused services.

We made the Tories a " big offer" at our sector Tory Summit. Let's capitalise on that.

And we want to talk to the new PM about how we can work in partnership to deliver stronger communities. There has been some talk about the " Big Society " agenda but have you noticed , ever since the Tories did focus groups ahead of the 2nd Leader debate and found the idea bombed they don't use the term again. So we need to stop using it too. DC talked of "stronger communities " and that is what we should talk about and not give credence to the " Broken Britain " idea which my members really hated.

But our partnership offer must be realistic. If cuts are made that damage our capacity to deliver , or weaken third sector bodies then we will oppose them and work hard to reverse them. We must continue to speak without fear or favour for citizens and for the excluded and marginalised. The sector's lead bodies will need to be ever vigilant in defending our members as well as promoting partnership.

That's why I was keen to agree the idea of a Sector Summit when Stuart raised it with me. I shall be going , backed by my Board.

A stronger parliament and a Coalition strengthens our hand. But in the difficult times that face our country the sector must play its part in finding solutions.

Interesting times. I'm now waiting to see who gets the junior appointments!


Unknown said...
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Mike Chitty said...

Stephen, with all due respect the purpose of my volunteering is not to help the Government to cut the national debt. Important though that is.

I increasingly see the vol/comm/se sector becoming lackeys of the state rather than advocates and champions for communities.

I recognise that you are saying that the sector will hold the Governments feet to the fire - but if we make ourselves dependent on their funding and their largesse then we surely diminish our legitimacy, power and indpendence.