Charity hits out at Compact terms

A children's charity has criticised a new Compact from Essex County Council as overly "bureaucratic and patronising".

The Colchester Carers Centre says the document was prepared in secret and tells charities that they must obey laws on governance.

"We have the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Charity Commission and Companies House," said Shirley Cuthew, company secretary at the centre, which supports parents of disabled children. "If we didn't have all the regulators the local authorities wouldn't be in partnership with us. I don't see why it needs to be spelled out. It's almost like bashing the voluntary sector."

She added that her charity was not given the chance to influence the draft Compact. "They are just going through the motions," she said.

Two years ago, Cuthew refused a £9,500 grant from the council because of the associated bureaucracy.

But she praised Colchester Borough Council's Compact as short, succinct and inclusive.

- See Editorial, p22.

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