Milburn emphasises role of charities

Former health secretary Alan Milburn believes the voluntary sector
should be seen as a “mainstream provider of public services”.

Speaking at a National Council for Voluntary Organisations
conference earlier this month, Milburn also advocated a voluntary
sector equivalent of the private finance initiative to put
voluntary groups on a “level playing field”.

He said: “The voluntary sector is starting to knock on the public
sector’s door. But in truth it is still too often regarded as an
interloper. It is time to bring the voluntary sector in from the

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