Share

Acevo's letter to PM makes headlines as coalition issues half-term update

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive, Acevo
News

Acevo's letter to PM makes headlines as coalition issues half-term update1

Finance | Tania Mason | 7 Jan 2013

A letter from Acevo chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb to the Prime Minister in which he describes the Big Society as “effectively dead” and accuses the government of sidelining charities, secured the front page lead in today’s Times as well as an interview on the Today programme.

The letter was timed to coincide with the update due to be issued by David Cameron and Nick Clegg today as to the coalition government’s priorities for the second half of this parliament. It accuses the coalition of breaking its early promises to ensure that charities are at the heart of public service reforms and says the sector’s important role in creating jobs and economic growth has been largely ignored.

“The Big Society is a strong concept,” Sir Stephen wrote, “even if Whitehall has struggled to communicate it or implement it consistently – but now the phrase is effectively dead.”

Sir Stephen claimed that charity leaders feel “frustrated and demoralised” by their inability to play a bigger role in providing services such as health and education. Reforms in social care and offender rehabilitation are “glacially slow” and in the Work Programme the “reality is divorced from the rhetoric”, he wrote.

“The reality many charities now face is crippling spending cuts: half of local councils admit making disproportionate cuts to charities in spite of government guidance to the contrary. Most Acevo members whose funding is being cut have had to respond by reducing the services they provide.”

He also said: “It is hard for those charity leaders to escape the feeling that when it comes to promoting the potential of charities in this country, a government once sincerely full of ambition, vision and urgency has lost its way, and now lacks a clear narrative on the role of charities in the economy and society.”

'Coalition must reaffirm commitment to charities'

Sir Stephen urged the PM to use today’s ‘coalition update’ to reaffirm the government’s commitment to supporting charitable activity by supporting payroll giving and reintroducing match funding, or by agreeing to the swift repayment of the Olympics raid on the Big Lottery Fund. Another suggestion was “substantial action to incentivise social investment”.

He also called for new ambition reforming public service reform; a commitment to protect the most vulnerable, and incentives for charities to create jobs and economic growth.

The letter concluded: “A reaffirmation of some of the principles and vision that so clearly animated the coalition in its early days would send a clear signal, and lay solid foundations for successful partnership between government and the charity sector over the second half of the parliament.”

Coverage of the coalition update trailed in today’s newspapers suggested it would contain an announcement of new measures making it easier for people to volunteer, to capitalise on the public-spiritness generated by the Olympics and Paralympics.

Benjamin Hopkinson
Chair of Trustees
North of England Refugee Service
18 Jan 2013

I have just returned from holuiday, and our CEO, Daoud Zaaroura has linked me to Sir Stephen's letter. I wish to say how much I agree with what he says, and to thank him for taking this initiative.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

Stand Up To Cancer raises over £14.5m

21 Oct 2014

This weekend's Stand Up To Cancer event has raised over £14.5m so far, and that figure is continuing...

Charities 'must continue to fight for the right to influence policy'

20 Oct 2014

Civil society organisations must not give up the fight to influence policy and governments, the international...

Relationship between government and charity 'has lost its way', says Nandy

23 Oct 2014

There needs to be a rebalancing of the relationship between the voluntary sector and government, shadow...

SCVO criticises government ministers for ‘orchestrated attempt to undermine charity campaigning’

23 Oct 2014

Martin Sime, the chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, has accused government...

Charity Commission reverses decision not to register consumer helpline as charity

23 Oct 2014

The Charity Commission has reversed a decision to reject an application to register a consumer helpline...

BeatBullying's technology CIC has not filed accounts with Companies House

22 Oct 2014

A software community interest company set up by the BeatBullying Group in 2012 is almost a year late filing...

Blackbaud launches online giving platform for individual fundraisers

17 Oct 2014

Blackbaud has launched its online giving platform, everydayhero, for fundraisers in the UK in a bid to...

Don't dismiss social media 'slacktivists', fundraisers told at IFC

16 Oct 2014

Charities should embrace and love charity ‘slacktivists’ because social is a great ramp for new donors,...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance