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Beyond Both Ways - Labour Party Publishes its Civil Society Strategy

16-Jul-2019

Recently published, The Labour Party’s Civil Society Strategy included pledges to increase grant funding for small charities, as well as a stop to restraining measures to increase diversity among charity leaders.

Its 14-page document, From Paternalism to Participation, focuses on the role it sees civil society playing in helping to rebuild public trust in politics by “tackling inequality of power”.

The Strategy pledges more grants for smaller projects, aiming to make sure smaller charities can benefit. It also mentioned a new approach to collaborative decision-making in public procurement, with an aim to “promote community wealth building and local employment”.

The document talks about leadership in charities, saying that their previous strategy did not “..reflect the diversity of the communities they serve”. Their newly launched strategy recommends forming a Charities Leadership Programme to support potential leaders from diverse backgrounds.

The strategy also pledges to boost the status of trustees; so that they are legally allowed the same “time off work” as governors or councillors.

The strategy also talks about creating a new Community Innovation Fund, using money from dormant assets, to provide cash to communities to run activities and projects in local spaces.

Other proposals mentioned in the Strategy also included:

  • Strengthening Social Value Act
  • Increase charities’ use of technology
  • Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme reviewed
  • A new social enterprise strategy
  • Increased representation of charities on Local Enterprise Partnerships

The strategy also indicates an update of the Compact; the undertaking of Government and civil society organisations working effectively in partnership for the benefit of communities.

The sentiment from the Labour Party is that their civil society policy had not been right for "..a large part of its history”; with Shadow Minister for Civil Society suggesting that they had “missed the point of civil society”; because the party had become too centralized, really wanting to control social and economic affairs.

You can read and download the Strategy here.

 


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