Slow progress on charity links

Councils and charities have a long way to go before they achieve the financial partnership needed for the success of government’s ‘new deal’ for charitable working, according to new research.

A feasibility study, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has revealed that the national ‘compact’ on joint working between government and voluntary and community bodies needs to be replicated through closer and more equal partnerships at local level before it can succeed.

‘The success of the compact depends on an on-going dialogue and review,’ said Sayer Vincent charity partner Helen Elliott. ‘Some of the compact proposals will happen because the voluntary sector is keen.

‘No-one disagrees with it in principle. But the local authorities are going to have to get much more involved if the compact is going to work.’

Developed last November by the Home Office and a voluntary-sector working party, the compact outlines a commitment to strategic, multi-year finance, and to building local compacts to promote better relations with local authorities and other public-sector bodies.

The voluntary sector contributes #12bn a year to the UK’s economy, employing 500,000 staff and about three million volunteers.

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