Government accepts Etherington review in full, says Rob Wilson | Warning over commission's proposed powers | Some campaigning charities are 'stealing from the church poor box', says Tory MEP

Plus: National Citizen Service participation target was missed by more than 22,000 | There are too many infrastructure bodies, says NCVO chief | Business Charity Awards 2016 opens for entries

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society
Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, has said the government will accept in full the recommendations of Sir Stuart Etherington's review of the self-regulation of fundraising, including the establishment of a Fundraising Preference Service. Wilson said the new body would be funded by charities and given responsibility for the Code of Fundraising Practice, which currently sits with the Institute of Fundraising.

The proposal to give the Charity Commission the power to issue official warnings to charities could have "serious and unintended consequences", Jo Coleman, a partner at IBB Solicitors, has warned.

Charities that engage in campaigning activities without making this explicitly clear when soliciting donations from the public are doing the equivalent of "stealing from the church poor box", the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference.

The government missed its target for participants in the National Citizen Service by more than 22,000 people, figures from the Cabinet Office show. The department’s annual report for the year to the end of March 2015, published last week, says that 57,609 participants took part in the 2014 programme, against a target of 80,000.

There are too many voluntary sector infrastructure bodies offering similar services, according to Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Etherington said infrastructure organisations should shrink, merge or even close to ensure the survival of the services they offer.

The Business Charity Awards, which recognise the outstanding contribution made by UK businesses to charities and social enterprises, have opened for entries. The categories have been updated for 2016 and now include a range of new awards, covering even more industries.

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