Share

Hurd informs Hodgson of progress on cutting red tape

Nick Hurd, minister for civil society
News

Hurd informs Hodgson of progress on cutting red tape

Governance | Niki May Young | 1 Mar 2012

Nick Hurd has sent Lord Hodgson - author of the Unshackling Good Neighbours report on cutting red tape for civil society organisations, a letter updating him on the progress at the half-way point to Lord Hodgson's review in May.

Sent to Lord Hodgson on 26 January and published on the Cabinet Office website yesterday, Hurd's letter summarises the government's actions towards reducing the bureaucracy surrounding action in the sector highlighted in Lord Hodgson's May 2011 report.

The report circles around three key questions:

  • What stops people giving time?
  • What stops people giving money?
  • What stops civil society organisations (CSOs) growing?  

Hurd says in his letter that "a lot has already happened" and that he is "really encouraged by the fact that two of the recommendations have been met". These are the continuation of cheques for "as long as they are needed", and the formation of a liaison group of insurers and CSOs to address insurance issues which create barriers to social activity.

Insurance

Barriers in insurance include a "perception that volunteers are likely to be sued", which Hurd says is being addressed by the Office for Civil Society together with sector umbrella organisations and insurers. Specific issues around insurance for volunteer drivers were also raised, with apparent inconsistancy over whether their driving was contained within the term "social driving", and therefore covered by insurers.

The Association of British Insurers has subsequently worked to clarify the position on its website and produced a list of 54 insurers which cover volunteer driving at no extra cost, said Hurd.

Criminal records checks

CRB checks will be made transferrable when the Protection of Freedoms Bill, providing legislation on the matter, passes through Parliament, Hurd said.

But Peter Horner, Navca's policy officer, told civilsociety.co.uk there more clarification is needed on the matter.

Navca believes that real progress is being made on reducing red tape as Nick Hurd’s letter shows," Horner said. "One area we are concerned with at present is that the government has not decided on whether the new single CRB check that the letter highlights will only be of use if it is free. 

"If they charge for this service most volunteers will just continue to choose to have separate checks for each volunteering role. Having to pay an annual fee to make the check portable would be like a tax on volunteering.”

Entertainment licensing

Entertainment licensing rules are also being addressed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, including proposals to remove the requirement for a licence in England and Wales to host a performance of a play, show a film, hold an indoor sporting event or dance performance, perform live music or play recorded music. The OCS is also working with the DCLG and Local Government Association to improve the quality of local authority guidance on the matter.

Health and Safety

A 'Common Sense Common Safety' document was drawn up and its recommendations are currently being implemented, said Hurd, providing the example of guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on safety in charity shops. 

Commissioning

One of the biggest barriers for the sector is a move from government grants to public service commissioning. In his report, Lord Hodgson had said that, "No topic has set the Task Force more challenges than unravelling the complex relationships that exist between small CSO’s and commissioners and considering how these might be strengthened and improved."

Hurd said that there has been "significant change in progress that is being initiated by both government and CSO umbrella organisations". He highlighted the work of organisations such as NCVO, Acevo and Navca in helping to implement change in this area and the publication of the Open Public Services White Paper, the responses to which he says will be published "soon".

He also mentioned the Best Value Statutory Guidance for local authorities, which asks them to consider social, economic and environmental impact when commissioning,  and the supporting 'Your Value' tool for CSOs to demonstrate their impact. 

 

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

Peer calls on government to give 5 per cent of Northern Rock Asset Management sale to charity

1 Apr 2015

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Shipley has called on the government to donate 5 per cent of the profit of...

Top charities take an average of just over 7 months to file accounts with the Charity Commission

1 Apr 2015

The average amount of time it takes the top 100 largest charities in the UK file their accounts with the...

Museum of London announces plan to relocate to Smithfield General Market

31 Mar 2015

The Museum of London has revealed plans to relocate to Smithfield General Market from its current home...

Homelessness charity unveils fundraising app that helps the charity locate rough sleepers

31 Mar 2015

A London-based homelessness charity has launched an app that uses geolocation technology to let people...

Charity Tax Group calls for further postponement of 20 per cent tax on direct mail fundraising

31 Mar 2015

The Charity Tax Group and the Direct Marketing Association have jointly called on the government to again...

Save the Children and RB launch programme to reduce child deaths from diarrhoea

30 Mar 2015

Save the Children and health and hygiene company RB have launched a programme as part of their ongoing...

Homelessness charity unveils fundraising app that helps the charity locate rough sleepers

31 Mar 2015

A London-based homelessness charity has launched an app that uses geolocation technology to let people...

Social media 'slacktivism' encourages people to donate, finds JustGiving report

18 Mar 2015

People who share a fundraising page on social media are four times more likely to donate than those who...

Samaritans closes Twitter monitoring app permanently

11 Mar 2015

Samaritans has confirmed that it has permanently closed its app that was designed to monitor people’s...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<