This discussion paper looks at the experience of the third sector over the first term of Tony Blair’s New Labour government. As well as looking backwards, it drew attention to measures that would enhance and enrich the relationship between the third sector and the Government. Further than this, it argued the importance of a strong and independent charity voice to the development of truly responsive public policy.
It concluded that, whilst some organisations had enjoyed a positive relationship with government, others were not in a positive position. In particular, it identified the lack of capacity within the third sector as a major obstacle to effective third sector engagement. It drew attention to the shift from the third sector identifying areas for the government to increase provision, to the government pointing to need and then asking charities to meet this.