Share

Thomas: Labour would bring greater coherence to sector’s power base

Gareth Thomas MP, shadow minister for civil society
News

Thomas: Labour would bring greater coherence to sector’s power base 1

Governance | 24 Sep 2013

A Labour government would set out a “joined-up vision” for the Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital and the Charity Commission, shadow civil society minister Gareth Thomas told a Labour conference fringe event yesterday.

Thomas said a more coherent strategy for the sector’s three most powerful organisations is necessary if the sector is to address critical issues such as future resourcing and incentivising volunteers, and to avoid mixed messages which undermine public trust in the sector – a reference to the recent scandal over executive salaries.

Speaking at the CAF fringe event, Thomas critiqued the current government’s failure to coordinate a “clear, coherent strategy” and stated this would be a key goal for Labour post-2015. A Labour government, he said, would prioritise “a clear strategic direction for the different pivotal players within the third sector”.

“It ought to be the job of the government to set the priorities for these three sector bodies,” he added, “and at the moment I don’t see that.”

He added: “If the challenge is to persuade zero-givers to get active, what you don’t do is start attacking charities in the way we’ve started to see a range of government figures doing. It seems like a very different environment for charities to be making their pitch to volunteers than what David Cameron offered when he talked about the Big Society as the answers to the problems of Britain.”

The shadow minister further revealed that a “formalised consultation” will take place “shortly”, addressing new resource strategies including online donations, payroll giving and corporate volunteer schemes.

He said that Labour is also considering the introduction of a UK version of the US Community Reinvestment Act which compels banks to offer alternative financial schemes suited to local communities.

CAF chief executive John Low, also speaking at the event, agreed on the need for coherent agendas throughout the sector, singling out the Charity Commission's “bizarre” response to the backlash over executive salaries and accusing it of “making statements that undermine public trust in charities”.

Low expressed further upset at the response of the sector’s governing bodies, saying:  “I am very disappointed that the chairs and trustees of charities have been absolutely silent on the matter.  They are the ones responsible for running the charities, for setting the pay.”

Gordon Hunter
Director
Lincolnshire Community Foundation
25 Sep 2013

Very, very silly.
Government already pays the wages and sets the agenda for the BIG Three. There was no salaries scandal, more a puff of wind across a shallow saucer. There is no shortage of philanthropists nor of volunteers.
If I was (God forbid) a politician, I would concentrate on real problems like climate change and the banking system.

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

Government commits another £2.3m to support Kew

17 Dec 2014

Nick Clegg yesterday announced an additional £2.3m of funding to support Kew Gardens’ botanical research...

Shelter strike suspended after union agrees to new pay offer

16 Dec 2014

The three-day strike planned by Unite members at Shelter has been averted at the eleventh hour after the...

CSV sells properties to cut pension deficit and predicts huge income drop

15 Dec 2014

Volunteering charity CSV has admitted that its pension deficit is its biggest risk in the future even...

Tobin Aldrich leaves Sightsavers to set up consultancy

17 Dec 2014

Former director of global fundraising for Sightsavers, Tobin Aldrich, has announced that he has left the...

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Government launches call for evidence into society lotteries

12 Dec 2014

The government yesterday formally launched a call for evidence into better regulation of society lotteries.

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Volunteering platform Do-it relaunches

12 Dec 2014

Online volunteering platform Do-it has been relaunched today by its new owner, the Do-it Trust, with more...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

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 <<