What’s in local government’s Christmas stocking?

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December 17, 2015 at 16:56

It’s Christmas and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has unveiled the government’s provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2016-17. The Local Government Finance Settlement is effectively a ‘Local Government Budget’ for the year and its provisional nature means it is open for consultation. Overall, this year’s stocking was filled with a combination of lumps of coals and a couple of potentially tasty oranges (ho, ho, ho). Here are the headlines that charities need to know.

LIVE BLOG: #SR2015

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November 25, 2015 at 11:06

On Wednesday the Chancellor, George Osborne, will deliver his joint 5 year Spending Review and Autumn Statement in what is being referred to as, Super Wednesday, here at CFG. The announcements, far from being ‘super’, are set to spell out continued difficult times ahead for the charity sector.

Just one thing, Sir John…

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November 18, 2015 at 15:32

Last week I was delighted to attend NCVO’s Annual Hinton Lecture which saw an excellent speech from former Prime Minister, Sir John Major. Sir John touched on a number of subjects, far too many to consider in one blog post, and you can read the speech here or listen to it here. However one thing that struck me was Sir John’s answer in the Q&A after the speech around the need for investment in preventative services but that the public sector could not be expected to provide this in the coming years.

Financial sustainability won’t be easy for the charity sector

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July 22, 2015 at 09:48

Today, has seen the launch of the review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, conducted by CFG, NCVO, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition. It has been a long piece of work, involving a call for evidence from the voluntary sector, with more than 100 charities responding to a detailed survey; pouring over existing statistics, synthesising various strands of research and forecasting the future of the sector’s finances. The full report, which you can download here, is a wakeup call for the charity sector, government and funders. Although the economy appears on the road to […]

#volsecbudget 2015 – CFG Live Blog

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July 8, 2015 at 09:12

09/07/2015 – 19:16 – AF This afternoon I attended the IFS post-budget briefing. Given the scale of the changes introduced it covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time so will I provide a more detailed update later. But for now, I am going to briefly summarise the key issues that I think are relevant to charity finance. I do also recommend that you take a look at the materials available on their website. The opening remarks made by director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, neatly provides the IFS’s over-arching narrative: that it is hard to see […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Labour

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April 13, 2015 at 17:09

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos starts with Labour, which unveiled its manifesto today. Britain can be better – The Labour Party Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide Support for charities and social enterprises in creating social value and supporting the social economy Large companies to publish gender pay gaps National Minimum Wage to be raised to £8 an hour by October 2019 Supporting the Living Wage through government procurement, alongside wider social impact considerations Cutting and then freezing business rates Repeal the Lobbying Act Local government Multi-year budgets for local authorities Local Public Accounts Committees to be […]

VCSE review points the way to better commissioning

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April 2, 2015 at 12:28

The Joint review of investment in VCSEs in the health and care sector (VCSE Review) last month published its interim report, which you can read online. The interim report is well worth a read, and highlights many of the problems that charities have been raising with public bodies and Ministers for several years. However, here are three key things that I have taken away from this report: 1.        It’s time to really open up commissioning to the sector Something that is often forgotten in the discussion about public services is that charities are not only service delivery organisations. Charities carry […]

Can charities help end the ‘pushmi-pullyu’ of local government spending to support prevention?

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March 16, 2015 at 09:14

The recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on ‘The cost of the cuts: the impact on local government and poorer communities’ makes for fascinating reading. There is a lot of analysis and statistics on how the frontloading of government spending cuts on local government have hit services and communities, as well as the voluntary sector. While there are a number of worrying issues highlighted by this report, from the point of the view of charities and the sector’s finances, the most worrying was the squeeze on spending on preventative services and the lack of capacity of local authorities to undertake full […]

Measurement: A double-edged sword for social value

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February 16, 2015 at 09:52

We’re all positivists now. Although there are a few ‘heretics’, generally, it seems that the march of the measurers has been a successful one. Nearly every charity that I speak with is interested in measurement and finding ways to report on its impact, though most are held back by the lack of time, resources or experience. Overall, this is a step forward. But we should also be cautious. Measurement is inherently idiosyncratic given the diversity of the sector and vast range of different outcomes that they are trying to achieve. This is not merely diversity by issue, but also diversity […]

De-regulation for the sake of it?

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March 14, 2013 at 12:10

The Government’s ‘red tape challenge’ sounds like some sort of physical assault course; conjuring images of hapless workers wading through paperwork, red tape tied round their ankles, tripping over giant copies of the tax code and stumbling into open filing cabinets spilling over with old employment contracts.  Underneath the rhetoric, the implication is that the current state of ‘regulation’ hinders business and innovation; the Government wants us to tell them what bits to scrap.  Unless talking about bankers, the idea that regulation is a catalyst for fair business is all but lost.  This is despite the fact that we have […]