Thursday, November 27, 2008

The third sector – the new rulers?

Yesterday I attended the National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s 10th Hinton Lecture. This year’s lecturer was the Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins. The central argument made was that a vibrant, self-governing democracy needs strong local government.

In order to avoid (almost) everyone in the room agreeing with him, Simon Jenkins threw in a grenade when he suggested that the organisations of the Third Sector were “the new rulers of Britain”. I think this was a little distracting. However, when he said that the “new localism” seemed to be all about “consulting stakeholders” he had a point. How many people know what local strategic partnerships are? What they do? Do they contribute to accountability and transparency?

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