Civil Society Media is to host a live question time-style debate with Nick Hurd, Gareth Thomas and Sir Stuart Etherington as the coalition government reaches the end of its first two years in power.
Chaired by Charity Finance editor Andrew Hind, the minister for civil society, shadow minister and NCVO chief executive will answer readers' questions and debate key issues affecting the sector on 16 May, with exclusive films and coverage shown on civilsociety.co.uk the next day.
“The coalition government two years in” will put Hurd under scrutiny over actions taken in his two years as minister for civil society, while Thomas is expected to have his opposing action dissected. As leader of the charity sector’s largest umbrella body, Sir Stuart is expected to answer questions on the funding situation, representation of the sector and support during the debate.
An audience of chief executives and leaders from across the sector will ask questions directly and readers of civilsociety.co.uk, Charity Finance, Governance and Fundraising magazines will also have their questions posed during the two-hour event. Others can follow the debate live on Twitter using the hashtag #CSQT.
This is the first time the ministers have taken part in a public head-to-head debate of this kind and is the first chance the sector will have to challenge the ministers in this way. Daniel Phelan, editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media explained why it is important to do so at this time:
"This live debate between charity leaders and the politicians that represent civil society in Parliament is a compelling opportunity to influence the political agenda at a time when charities are being bombarded by policy bombshells and funding cuts.
"It is a rare chance to challenge the impact of government policy on the work of charities and to directly promote the issues which charities feel most strongly about."