Sunday, 26 September 2010

Third sector greets Ed!

It was good to be able to congratulate Ed last night on behalf of the sector. Many ACEVO members have very good and fond memories of Ed's time as the first Third Sector Minister, appointed by Tony Blair. He thanked me for my earlier text message! And said we must meet soon.

I am keen that we ensure labour has the right policy on our sector. And also understands that there is a very poisitive message about Big Society. We need a consensus approach ; it is no good labour just denouncing Big Societyas a front for cuts. This is not only not true but a silly approach. There are strong aspects of Big Society that appeal across the political divide; empowering communites and citizens, a bigger role for the third sector in delivering services and devolving power from Whitehall. I am confident we can get Ed to see this.

The damage caused by the " preferred provider" stance of Burnham has to be repudiated. And Ed in particular will need to ensure that he is not seen to pander to the trade unions anti sector politics. He could do this by publicly stating his opposition to any preferred provider nonsense, even though the unions want this. I want to see Ed making an early statement on how he supports third sector service delivery and is with the government on Big Society , whilst making a determined opposition to cuts that damage the very fabric of civil society.

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