ACEVO responds to the government’s civil society strategy

Joe Irvin, ACEVO chair, says:

“The civil society strategy is designed to set the strategic direction for government engagement with the charity sector for the next ten years. With such an ambitious objective, it is positive to see the strategy cover many of the issues that are currently affecting charity leaders including the importance of voice, support for the digital code of practice, and a commitment to improving and enhancing social value. We also welcome the announcement that the government will renew its commitment to the principles of the Compact.

We are pleased that the role of leaders and good leadership in the success of civil society has been acknowledged with a commitment to exploring ideas for strengthening leadership. We hope to be involved in these discussions so that we can share the views, needs and ideas of our members.

But there are areas in which we would have liked to see the strategy go further. Although we welcome the commitment to continuing dialogue on campaigning, ACEVO will continue to push for reform of the Lobbying Act to ensure that, as the strategy states, citizens’ views and concerns can be communicated to decision-makers. ACEVO will continue to call for the release of more funds from the £2bn in dormant accounts in order to further strengthen the sector, and we hope to see a consultation announced soon. While we welcome the commitment to increasing diversity among trustees, we urge the strategy to go further, for example providing reasonable time off for charity trustees, as exists for many other public duties such as school governors. Diversity must be improved across civil society organisations and creating greater inclusion must underpin all work across the sector.

We look forward to continuing to work with government and our members to make sure this “living and breathing” document helps us build a stronger civil society, one which supports and enables communities and creates lasting change.”

Read ACEVO’s response to the consultation.

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