Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Third Sector reports come fifth and sixth (or worse) in media coverage

Amidst the reports from Stern, Barker, Eddington and Leitch, the publication of the interim report of the Third Sector Review and action plan on Third Sector involvement in public services were somewhat overshadowed.

There was little in the press (a footnote in "Inside Housing" and a couple of other references can be found on Google News). There was even less in blogs.

If you do want to know more (but can't wade through the reports themeselves), there is a brief overview available in a news release on the Cabinet Office website.

Given the likelihood that the not-for-profit sector will play a bigger role in the delivery of public services - not least in the NHS - these really are important reports. They should be up there with the other reports.

In his Pre Budget Report, Gordon Brown announced along side the Third Sector reports:

- a commitment to three-year funding settlements; and

- a community assets fund of £30m to enable communities and community groups to take on the management and ownership of assets.

(Of course the stability of multi-year funding can be a little superficial.)

Lets hope that the Tories talk of civil society playing an important role in dealing with social problems will encourage Gordon Brown to carry on thinking of how the not-for-profit sector can be nurtured as a key player in public services.

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