Latest Public Sector News


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.



There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... more >


Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... 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 >