Friday, 8 July 2011

More choice, More Power

A good roundtable in No 10 yesterday to talk about how to promote Public service reform. Key ministers like Danny Alexander, Oliver Letwin with commentators, CBI etc. The PM was also there for a period which , given other events, demonstrates this is very much part of his agenda for driving a stronger society.

One of the aims was to drive a coalition for change. As someone described it " a vested interest for reform". I told the PM that ACEVO was " on the bus " on this journey- though its a " community transport bus" ! He was amused!

But it is right we must build a coalition for reform. The White Paper will be out next week. Although I'm sure we will want it to go further we need to support the aims amd intentions of the changes. And as culture and meaning is important we need to blow the trumpet for " More choice. More power".

I have written to both the PM and to Nick Clegg on this.

And on this subject I see that the Baring foundation have set up a panel to look at " independence" of the sector in the light of more public service delivery etc. Intersting there is such light representation of actual charities delivering public services as opposed to commentators and names. I'm all for philisophical debate but I prefer the actual job of getting power into the hands of citizens and communities though reformig public services and giving the third sector more power to deliver.

And will the new panel be looking at the independence of charities dependent on grant funding from foundations I wonder. At least government has a democratic legitimacy. Will the panel be casting an eye over how foundations appoint their trustees and how independent they are?

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