Latest Public Sector News

15.09.16

Devolution should be ‘reset’ to include voluntary sector

Voluntary sector leaders have said the devolution process should be reformed to ensure charities are properly represented as service providers.

At the Devolution and Voluntary Sector Summit last week, leaders of 30 charities signed a statement of devolution principles. The charities argued that whilst the devolution process was valuable, it should “be tailored to communities and places by people”.

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, said: “I am delighted that we were able to come together to develop a vision for devolution.

“The next step is to reset the devolution agenda based on the full involvement of the voluntary sector as an active partner to support communities.”

The organisations, including Age UK, Women’s Aid and Children England, said there should be a commitment to allow charities to engage people and communities, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, in decision-making.

The statement argued that devolution needs to be “visible and accountable” and “not leave anyone behind”.

Recently the influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised the devolution process for being “unclear and inconsistent”, and the IPPR claimed that Greater Manchester’s flagship health devolution is actually closer to delegation than true devolution.

In July, a report from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) also argued that the devolution process so far has been too centralised and focused on austerity.

Today, Tony Armstrong, CEO of Locality, said: “There is a clear opportunity for devolution to harness the capacity and ideas of local people and organisations to transform their communities.

“But there is a risk that the devolution agenda is missing this potential.”

The charity-backed statement also said devolved bodies should not agree a financial settlement until they had identified the needs and resources, including voluntary organisations, in the area.

There should then be an agreement between local authorities, elected officials and the voluntary sector about the design, commissioning, funding and delivery of public services, it added.

Kathy Evans, chief executive of Children England, said: “People who are too young, too frail or simply too far away to get heard in centralised decision making will simply live closer to institutions that don’t represent them if charities don’t take a strong advocacy role in devolution.”

She also called for “the most vulnerable” to be involved in “an ongoing conversation” about devolution.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >