Tuesday 24 August 2010

No safe place?

So chickens coming home to roost! Recently Nat Wei visited a community organisation in Ealing which he described to the press as "at the cutting edge" in community development. Ealing Council shortly thereafter cut its funding and it may close.

On the day of Nick Clegg's speech on fairness he visited a children's centre in Shepherd's Bush. It was revealed on the day that the Council is also to close the Centre. Now this is happening before the CSR cuts announcements in October. Imaging how many more charities and community organisations are going to be decimated by Health Authorities, Councils and Central Government cuts.

So I predict there will be a sharp decline in Ministerial visits to sector organisations in the coming year.

And it will be fascinating to hear from the forthcoming "Town Hall Tour" organised by DCLG (or is it the Big Society Network?) how responsive civil society is to the call to encourage and organise more volunteering. Perhaps they will be distributing magic wands in place of grant funding?

But I must not be all negative. There are also opportunities here for us to push the sector's delivery role. I bang on and on about how this is more cost effective and better geared to the client. Let me share a great example of the dynamism of one of our members responding to the need to make cuts by proactively seeking business.

"We at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice have secured an expansion of our hospice at home service covering now for the first time the whole of Lincolnshire. Apart from being able to care for more patients, by expanding the service to cover weekends we aim to keep people at home, as per their wish and at the same time save against costly admissions into hospital.

We are also about to expand from five days a week to seven, our palliative care coordination centre, a service that works closely with community nurses, commissioning from a select group of providers, packages of care for people requiring end of life care."

That's the ticket. And many many more ACEVO members are making such approaches and making the case for growth that saves the State money but also provides a better service.

If only more Councils and Health Authorities were looking proactively at this instead of reaching for the axe in a boneheaded macho way we would all be much better off!

And I'm off into work to see a delegation of visiting Japanese academics and sector people who are fascinated by how our sector has grown and how well we work with Government. So I must put on my optimistic face!


Anonymous said...

Interesting post but not quite targetted at the right audience. It is the politicians that need to read this - local and national and protectionism has to stop. (Talking of stopping who is the Chinese bloke that comments? Can he please provide a translation of his insights?)

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

Good point! And also the comments from our Chinese (or is it Japanese) friend are irritating in that I don't know what they are saying.

Karl said...

Both - I think the chinese comments are a 'bot'. I typed them into google translate and the results were a bit meaningless. Just use http://translate.google.co.uk/#

Robin Bogg said...

I assumed the Japanese comments were by your fans from JACEVO...

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