Headlines: July 21st, 2010

Leaders from the voluntary sector are to be invited to a meeting next month to discuss the coming cuts in public spending. It is being staged by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which is concerned at what it calls ‘the tidal wave of cuts’ the sector is likely to face.

News of the meeting came in the NCVO’s response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society plans designed to involve people in running local public services. The NCVO has raised the question of whether the Big Society will falter in the face of the impending cuts. It has urged the Government to ensure it cuts with care, and avoids hitting the most vulnerable people who rely heavily on services that are under threat.

The NCVO Chief Executive, Sir Stuart Etherington said it was good that the prime minister was recognising the importance of the voluntary and community sector, and encouraging people to get involved in their local communities. He was particularly pleased that unclaimed assets would be be used for the benefit of the Third Sector.

“However I am very concerned about the tidal wave of cuts about to hit the sector,” he said and added: “The government must ensure that any cuts do not disproportionately hit the most vulnerable and scupper the chances of achieving the Big Society. We will be hosting a summit of voluntary sector leaders on August 17, to discuss the government’s spending review.”