Headlines: February 26th, 2010

Leaders of charities have met the Chancellor to discuss how the Third Sector can deliver public services at a better price for taxpayers. Delegates from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, which represents more than 2,000 heads of charities, said savings could be made in the long term within public services by understanding the needs of the people who used them.

The Association said the Third Sector, which includes voluntary and not for profit organisations as well as charities, had expanded the areas in which it provides public services over the past 10 years. The services included health and social care, education and offender management. It challenged the Government to allow charities to run entire services in fields where organisations had demonstrated their expertise.

Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of Acevo, said: “We are making an irresistible offer to Government. Devolving more public service delivery to the voluntary sector will benefit both the economy and service users who receive more effective and personalised services.” Mr. Bubb said there was an opportunity to transform the way public services were delivered and the Government needed to be bold in putting the voluntary sector at the heart of this.

“We hope the Treasury will recognise the potential there is in our offer and will work with us to ensure the third sector can play a vital role, and central role, in the delivery of top quality services and cost-effective public services that will contribute to our economic recovery and growth,” he said. The meeting with Alistair Darling will be followed by a similar session with the shadow cabinet next month.