ACEVO and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) today launched a joint project to put charities and social enterprises at the top of the political agenda in the run up to the 2015 election.
The joint ACEVO-CAF project will produce collections of essays by leading thinkers and politicians from the three major parties. The project will be launched at major thought-leading events to be held at the three major Political Party conferences in September and October 2014.
The Conservative collection, the ‘Blue Book’ of the voluntary sector has the support of Brooks Newmark MP, Minister for Civil Society, having previously been championed by former Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd MP. The ‘Red Book’ will be co-edited by Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Minister for Civil Society. The ‘Yellow Book’ will feature contributions from prominent Liberal Democrats and has the backing of Julian Huppert MP.
The project is launched as it becomes increasingly clear that the manifestos of the major parties are still to be assembled. The Labour Party’s consultation on the voluntary sector is ongoing. Speaking at an ACEVO event yesterday, Chairman of the Conservative Party Policy Review the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP announced that the Conservative Party was still in the process of learning the lessons of government and of refining and exploring its policies on charity and social enterprise.
Commenting on the launch of the project, Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO said:
“With the final reshuffle done and Parliament in recess the 2015 General Election campaign has truly begun. ACEVO has been working with the major political parties on their manifesto work since the beginning of the year and now the momentum is building. Our sector must grasp this opportunity.
“The ACEVO-CAF project will do something that no one else has done. It will not just be a series of policy statements but rather it will speak to the vision of each major political party. By bringing rising stars from each of the major political parties together with civil society leaders, we hope to put our sector’s agenda at the top of the political manifestos – and it will also entrench charities and social enterprises deep in political thought.
“At a time when the voluntary sector is often ignored by the political class, this partnership and this project are absolutely necessary. It’s essential that we go further than the usual sector manifestos – and this project will feed directly into ACEVO’s own manifesto nearer to the election.
“This year in general and the party conference season in particular are key touchpoints. ACEVO and CAF’s work together will ensure that the whole of the sector is represented at the top table, not just now but in the future.”
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“We all need to do more to make the vision of a bigger, more generous society a reality. But the basic idea that people giving their time, initiative and money can come together to solve issues in our society remains as powerful as ever.
“Charities play a massive role across our society, yet can run the risk being taken for granted. Governments ignore them at their peril. It’s vital that politicians of all parties think about the role civil society plays and develop new and innovative ways to bring people together to support the vulnerable in our society.
“We want to bring together thinkers from across the political spectrum to place charities at the heart of policymaking.”
Notes to editors
1. The three essay collections will be published in high-profile events at the Labour (Manchester, 1800 Sunday 21 Sept), Conservative (Birmingham, 1730 Tuesday 30 Sept) and Liberal Democrat (Glasgow, 1815 Tuesday 7 Oct) Conferences.
Each event will include speeches from contributors to the essay collections. Contributors include Penny Mordaunt MP, Rory Stewart MP, Jesse Norman MP and Charlotte Leslie MP from the Conservatives, Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, Lisa Nandy MP, Baroness Hayter, Steve Reed MP and Will Straw from Labour, and Julian Huppert MP, Norman Lamb MP, Ibrahim Taguri PPC and Baroness Jolly from the Liberal Democrats. Non-parliamentary contributors include Danny Kruger of Only Connect and Philip Collins of The Times.
2. ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, the leading voice of the UK’s charity and social enterprise sector. More information at www.acevo.org.uk.
3. The Charities Aid Foundation is an international charity which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.
More information at www.cafonline.org.
4. At the political party conferences ACEVO also holds three Social Investment Summits, in association with Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business. Speakers will include Sir Stephen Bubb of ACEVO, Nick O’Donohoe of Big Society Capital, Lisa Nandy MP and Norman Lamb MP. More information at: www.acevo.org.uk/networking-events/party-conferences-2014.