Charity Leaders: Conservative Commitment to Public Service Reform Trumps Big Society Easter Resurrection

Commenting on the launch of the Conservative manifesto and the choice for the third sector at this election, Asheem Singh, Director of Public Policy at ACEVO said:

“As the politicians are fond of repeating, there is a clear choice for the third sector at this election. The Conservatives offer an Easter resurrection for the Big Society with welcome commitments to build on their public service reform package, introduce legal support for volunteering and build on their youth engagement programmes. Labour are offering a welcome commitment to repeal the Lobbying Act and protect the freedom of civil society to campaign. ACEVO has argued for all of the above in our manifesto; we shall see what matters more to the sector come May 7th.” 

Commenting on the Conservatives’ plans for NHS and public service reform, Singh said:

“We welcome the Conservatives’ commitment to joining up health and social care through the Better Care Fund. The previous government’s commitment to devolution was admirable. We must be clear however that not all is well and that devolution of budgets without adequate support for commissioners or the voluntary sector means that services suffer. A future Conservative government must work with us on the detail of these new local settlements.”

Commenting on the Conservatives’ commitment to maintaining the lobbying act, Singh said:

“Gagging grass roots campaign groups is not part of the Big Society. The Conservatives state that they will ‘continue to defend our hard won liberties’ when it comes to freedom of the press. However, their commitment does not appear to extend to protecting freedom of speech for grass roots campaign organisations. It is disappointing that the Conservative manifesto stands behind the Lobbying Act or ‘gagging law’. We will continue to vigorously make the case for its repeal to a future Conservative government.”


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