Starting the new legislative season

The Queens Speech, announcing measures to be brought forward in the new parliamentary session at Westminster, included

“National Citizen Service will be placed on a permanent statutory footing.”

NCS is the volunteering programme for young people, which has been a favourite cause of Conservative ministers.

Not included in the words the Queen read out, but in the day’s wider announcements, was an intention to introduce a Small Charitable Donations Bill to simplify the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.

The speech itself on gov.uk plus official briefing notes on the announcements in the Queen’s Speech 2016.

Civil Society News has separate items on National Citizen Service and Small Charitable Donations Bill. NCVO’s quick briefing on ‘What charities need to know‘ also covers these two, as well as pointing out the impact of other measures on local authority funding, plus:

“There have been plenty of challenging issues for charities to deal with in the last year, but the focus on life chances that is now a key part of the Prime Minister’s agenda may well offer opportunities for charities. They will also want to scrutinise closely new life chances metrics which will likely inform the design of future government policies and programmes.”

New Philanthropy Capital’s ‘What charities can glean from the Queens Speech‘ unsurprisingly mentions ‘new indicators for measuring life chances’, as this “could have come straight from an NPC seminar”.  Other topics: prisons, support for children, tackling extremism.

Scotland’s ‘new’ government

In Scotland, the make-up of the new government’s cabinet was also announced on 18th May.

While the SNP remains in power, it is now needs support from elsewhere to get legislation through. The Green Party may be able to get the Scottish government to adopt a more radical stance on certain issues as a result. See SCVO’s blog item ‘A busy week ahead in Holyrood‘ for some background – slightly out of date already, of course, so keep an eye on SCVO and/or Third Force News for updates for the Scottish sector.

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