A group of civil society leaders met with Prime Minister David Cameron this week to discuss the sector’s role in the transformation of public services.
At the meeting civil society representatives talked with ministers about their experiences of public service delivery, concerns about the impact of cuts, and offered suggest solutions and ideas for further reform. Attendees were drawn from NCVO’s Public Service Delivery Network, whose members include Turning Point and Mencap.
Delegates gave the Prime Minister examples where local authorities are cutting inappropriately or disproportionately, and where VAT on shared services is causing problems for the sector. They also discussed the potential impact that forthcoming changes to NHS commissioning will have on civil society organisations.
The meeting covered the sector's need for capital, especially in the context of public services which will increasingly be contracted on the basis of payment by results. Delegates also raised the importance of commissioning regimes recognising the additional costs of providing services to people with complex needs.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:
"This meeting let our members communicate directly to the prime minister and other government representatives the challenges and opportunities they face. The delivery and reform of public services is at the heart of the Big Society vision, so sharing examples of good and bad practice gives a valuable steer on how to ensure the sector is supported to play a full part in this. We hope that the government will continue to listen to and act on the sector's views in the months ahead."
Following the meeting, the Prime Minister asked NCVO to share examples of good and bad practice around funding cuts and VAT.
NCVO has asked any charities with examples to share to contact its senior policy officer James Allen on [email protected].