The government is planning to set up a new body that will co-ordinate collaborative projects between different sector bodies, Civil Society News understands.
In recent weeks the government has made two announcements about new bodies being set up with funding from dormant assets and a third is expected later today.
It is understood that the new body will be charged with bringing together different sector representative bodies to agree a unified position on key issues to avoid confusion about what the sector actually thinks on any given topic.
Government sources suggested that one of the reasons for the new body was that ministers, who are preoccupied with Brexit, struggled to remember who all the different sector bodies were and had demanded “one clear voice”.
“There are just so many of them – NCVO, Acevo, CFG, CTG, CAF, SEUK, Navca, ACF, CFT, ZXY - but to underprepared ministers it’s all alphabet soup,” one said.
A number of candidates are in the running to be chair of the new body. There is speculation that Gina Miller and William Shawcross could be announced as co-chairs at 12 noon today, 1 April.
Meanwhile stakeholders are likely to be thrilled at the prospect of preparing consultation responses to help shape the new organisation.
One told Civil Society: “We’ll probably just stick a new title on our response to the Civil Society Strategy – pretty sure no-one will notice.”
While the full scope of the new body’s work will obviously be decided only after extensive consultation, some of the early themes are expected to be:
- To merge or not to merge?
- Are small charities better than large charities?
- What should the sector be called? Third sector, civil society, VCSE… the list is endless
- Should charities just stick to their knitting?
In case you hadn't guessed this was an April Fool - we have no idea what the government is planning.