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Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Another Budget initiative - third sector review
Cor blimey, you spend a day out of the office on a job and you come back to a stack of things to blog up about. Sigh.

Well, there's yet another Budget initiative here - "a review of the third sector’s role in regeneration backed up by the largest ever consultation of voluntary and community organisations." Yet another study, yet another hefty report - why can't Gordon do an actual project? We all know that the third sector is important in regeneration. Do you really need to spend stacks on a bunch of consultants doing yet more questionaires? and a new 'office of charity and third sector finance' within the Treasury? Well, maybe that's the only interesting bit.

We all know that GB totally believes in delivery via volunteering and other things that he doesn't have to pay for. If/when he becomes PM we can expect to see a lot more of this so at least this initiative will be close to his heart. But I would rather see him giving proper funding to some of these organisations rather than just asking them what they want, again.

Here are the full details, lifted from New Start, if you can be arsed to read more:

The review was announced by chancellor Gordon Brown in this week’s budget, together with the creation of a new unit within the Treasury designed to engender a more joined-up approach to third sector issues. The office of charity and third sector finance will work closely with the active communities directorate in the Home Office, the Department of Trade and Industry’s social enterprise unit and the charities unit at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. A third sector advisory panel, including young volunteers, representatives of third sector umbrella bodies and members of different faith communities, will be established to advise the new office on third sector issues.

The Treasury will lead a review of the sector’s future role in social and economic regeneration, overseen by a cross-departmental ministerial group, designed to feed into the comprehensive spending review. It will look at the long term priorities for voluntary and community organisations, using evidence from a consultation which will be launched in May. It will also advise on financial issues affecting charities, including gift aid and Futurebuilders.

Campbell Robb, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, will play a leading advisory role in the review.


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