Shared Society needs Practical Underpinning: ACEVO CEO Singh

Published: Monday 9 January 2017 - 13:00

ACEVO CEO Asheem Singh responds to today's speech from the Prime Minister, and comments from the Chair of the Charity Commission

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s commitment to mental health provision, Asheem Singh, interim Chief Executive at ACEVO said:

‘We welcome the Prime Minister’s comprehensive commitment to mental health provision. ACEVO has long led the way in this area, with a seminal report on youth loneliness. We take great pride that ACEVO’s chair, Paul Farmer will co-chair the inquiry into mental health in the workplace and we are pleased that our members in this space will be making a crucial contribution to the debate.’

Commenting on the broader thrust of the Prime Minister’s ‘shared society’ speech, Mr Singh said:

‘A shared society is a good placeholder but it needs a practical undercarriage. The voluntary sector, led by ACEVO members, are ready to help deliver this vision and we are clear about what we need to do that:

  • better commissioning with fairer procurement procedures both nationally and locally;
  • a regulator that represents and is reflective of the sector’s experience and diversity with an accompanying reduction, not proliferation, of red tape;
  • high quality development funding;
  • a commitment from the Government to focus five per cent of spending in key departments on preventative services.

 

The shared society will be judged on these terms and on how the Prime Minister’s team work with the sector, led by ACEVO members, to deliver.’

Commenting on William Shawcross’ attempts to get charities to pay for the charity commission, Mr Singh said:

‘The Prime Minister’s ‘shared society’ is jeopardised by William Shawcross’ proposal to use millions of pounds worth of charitable funds to pay for government regulation. Charging for the Charity Commission is an inappropriate use of charitable funds and the Prime Minister will fail to build the shared society she seeks if each of her various regulators are bent on taking their slices of the charity pie. These funds should be going to the frontline and we will continue to contest this proposal.

 

‘We note that the Charity Commission has recognised that it must do more to enable charities to fit within its regulatory framework alongside its compliance work. This is a welcome concession to several representations made by ACEVO over several months. We look forward to working with the commission to improve its relationship with the sector going forward.'