“This will be the last time charities are ignored in the general election”

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ chair, Peter Kellner stated in December that the fact that none of the political parties had anything whatsoever to say about voluntary action during the general election last year was the main failure of the year.

According to the Civil Society article, whilst speaking at the Christmas reception of NCVO and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on charities and volunteering in December, Kellner stated that he is “determined that it will be the last election that none of the parties have anything substantial to say about voluntary action” whilst regarding to last year’s general election.

He contrasted this lack of acknowledgment with the importance of charitable organisations by referring to the devastating tragedy of Grenfell Tower that happened a few days after the election and how vital the role that the third sector played in that instance, which demonstrated “why this sector matters so much”.

Kellner stated: “I think we can be really proud of what our sector achieved and I hope that from those lessons, both those specifically from those terrible days and more generally, we can persuade all the parties that in the years ahead, whatever their ambitions are for the health service, for education, for social care, for libraries, for fighting crime, for whatever, that if they build in the work of civil society and the work of our sector and work of volunteers, they are much more likely to achieve their wider goals, to help create a better society.”

Steve Reed, the shadow minister for civil society also attended the reception who stated that unfortunately the government is getting a lot wrong, and that they have ignored and put this sector to the side for too long.

Reed said that “the situation was even worse” with regards to the ’58 reports’ that David Davies, the Brexit secretary claimed to have written concerning the influence that Brexit will have on key sectors, where the charity sector was not even mentioned, but in reality, the documents didn’t even exist.

Reed voiced his disappointment to the Civil Society that the government didn’t even bother to pretend to have done a review on the impact of Brexit on the charity sector. He strongly believes that this is out of order, especially when the industry employs 2 million people, and contributes £12 billion to the economy. He fails to understand, as do many others, why the government fails to treat the industry with the same respect as it gives to others, especially considering the good work they do. Reed continued to say that the sector will no longer accept being treated as an afterthought.

He believes that unless the government starts listening to the criticism they receive, they will fail, and that in order to be successful they need to listen and adapt.

Without a doubt, the charity sector should be at the centre of the government considering its position and importance in the development and sustainability of our country.

Source: Civil Society; https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/this-year-will-be-the-last-year-that-charities-are-left-out-of-the-general-election.html