The voluntary sector must combine campaigning with a greater role
in the delivery of public services, a conference heard last
Charities needed to expand their contribution to public services
while ensuring they remained the “voice of marginalised groups”,
said John Low, chair of the Association of Chief Executives of
Voluntary Sector Organisations, at the group’s summer forum held in
A draft manifesto for third sector leaders that called for better
leadership and accountability was also unveiled.
Low criticised those who saw leadership as a “dirty word”, saying:
“Too many charities allow a desire for consensus to lead to
But while he said that a forthcoming white paper on public service
reform was likely to recommend big increases in the role of the
third sector, he said the government was reluctant to entrust
charities with long-term delivery.
He pointed to the problem of short-term contracts that left
charities “existing hand-to-mouth” and too much paperwork that had
“little significance” to service users.