Friday, 5 October 2012

At work...

Back in the office; rather pleasant to have a normal day at work! First up a session with the CEO of the Local Government association to talk on the project we are doing with them to engage with a number of local councils on their role with the sector.

Then off for a delightful lunch with Amanda Witherall, the CEO of the NHS charities association. I'm speaking at their next annual conference.

We had a most entertaining chat when we were trying to work out if she ever appeared before me when I sat of the Bench in the London Youth Courts. I was a JP for 20 years and a fascinating experience it was too. I had to step down when I took on the Acevo job but I always felt the principle of a magistracy drawn from commited citizens was a good one and one to be supported. She was a prosecuting lawyer at that time. She also has a fascinating experience running a charity which she had to wind down but in a way that preserved assets.

NHS Charities perform a great role- though some better than others it must be said. The best work with their local communities and with patients. The worst are just adjuncts of the hospital consultants. Their governance is "interesting" and the DH are reviewing it now. However they could be beacons of innovation and change when the NHS faces such big challenges.

Then onto a session with my Chair preparing for our Board awayday and our 3 year priorities discussion. Our sector faces towards the next Election with 3 parties that have yet to understand the potential of charities and social enterprises to promote growth and social justice.

Must say I was impressed with the " One Nation" speech by Ed. But I'm beginning to get tired of hearing its endless repetition. Its becoming like a hare krishna chant. As the Conservatives discovered with " Big Society" you need policies that underpin the spin. And we need to know from Labour how they see the role of the third sector.

Though did you notice that in interviews Ed kept talking about " non profits". If "third sector" was New Labour , is "non profit" One Nation Labour?

Still he talked about our sector which was more than Andy Burnham did in his speech. Strange in a health and social care service that will demand a bigger role for our sector if it is to meet the financial challenges and changing patterns of health care.

But then Labour are not alone in not having developed a well thought through policy on the sector. Ill be in Birmingham next week and shall be listening intently to the PM speech and what he has to say on us. Many members are feeling that we are sidelined or ignored.

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