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Two new critical, even controversial, takes on the current state of the voluntary sector:
- From The Guardian’s development network ‘UK charities have lost their radical soul‘ is an article based on the book ‘The Poverty of Capitalism’ from War on Want’s executive director.
- A recommendation from National Coalition for Independent Action, ‘The Austerity Of Charity’ (on Swans Commentary) takes a long look at the corporate connections of “the great and the good” in senior positions in the sector, http://swans.com/library/art19/barker143.html.
Carnegie UK Trust has published ‘The Enabling State: From Rhetoric to Reality’, identifying 12 projects that represent the growing trend towards individuals or communities creating their own public services.
Scotland’s Third Force News reports that the Self Management Fund, run by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, is leading the way, having funded 81 projects supporting 132,789 people with long-term conditions since its launch in 2009.
Find the report (pdf, 3.29MB) via Carnegie page.
A new research report from The Kings Fund ‘Volunteering in Acute Trusts in England’ is available in pdf (471KB) via http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/volunteering-acute-trusts-england, and NCVO has an article drawing out some of the new knowledge, titled ‘Healthcare volunteering must be high-quality to be sustainable‘.
The fourth annual report on the State of Rural Public Services, from Rural Services Network, concentrates on three policy areas: health services, public transport and post offices. The report aims to inform and stimulate policy debate about rural service provision, and to share ideas.
See http://www.rsnonline.org.uk/services/report-lifts-lid-on-state-of-rural-services or direct link to pdf, 431KB, http://www.rsnonline.org.uk/images/files/SORPS-2013-v-final.pdf.
(Source: ACRE Headlines)
The Scottish Government is consulting on proposals to exempt charities with a turnover of less than £75,000 per year from water and sewerage charges. Currently an exemption applies to charitable organisations that qualified in 1999, but does not include newly formed charities.
Official news item, with the consultation document available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9119. Runs to 14th February.
Welsh sector body WCVA reports that OR Pro Bono is offering support on Operational Research to UK third sector organisations. OR is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.
See WCVA piece or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Main website is at http://www.theorsociety.com but also see http://probonoor.blogspot.co.uk/
The Scottish Government’s “most comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published”, titled Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, has its own web address of http://www.scotland.gov.uk/scotlandsfuture, or see the launch news release.
We haven’t seen any sector commentary so far, but charity regulator OSCR points out that this White Paper makes specific mention of the third sector and OSCR at the end of Chapter 10 – Building a Modern Democracy, and in the Q and A section at questions 644 to 650. OSCR’s sector guidance on the referendum is in pdf, 284KB.
Update: Third Force News article on the white paper.