The brief of the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, was expanded to include libraries when his mini-fiefdom moved recently from the Cabinet Office to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Old-timers will remember this outfit was dubbed the "ministry of fun" by David Mellor, its first secretary of state, in 1992. Debate continues about whether this is a demotion for the charities brief, but there's no questioning the splendour of Wilson's new corner office in the government's Edwardian baroque pile next to Parliament Square: it's vast, oak-panelled, and lined with books. "When they made me responsible for libraries, I didn't think they would give me one," quips Wilson. The shelves hold just a bit of light bedtime reading - parliamentary debates going back more than a century.
Having gained libraries, there is a possibility that Wilson will lose social enterprise, which came with him from the Cabinet Office. The business-with-a-conscience brigade isn't entirely happy to be bundled into the ministry of fun and is pressing for a transfer to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. There they would probably fall under one Nick Hurd, Wilson's predecessor-but-one at the OCS, who is pursuing his environmental interests as Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. The two departments are meeting about this mini-turf war in early October, but few are betting that social enterprise will escape.
That email to colleagues saying you're leaving is always tricky, but here's what Emer Martin wrote when quitting the Charities Aid Foundation media office recently: "I'm heading off to re-wild myself - sell all my stuff, challenge what it is to be a woman and learn how to survive mountains." Her rules, according to her Twitter account, are spending six hours a day outside, giving a fiver to charity Monday to Friday and learning a fact daily. Already she's run the Tour du Mont Blanc, cycled round London's bandstands, worn socks that match her bike and learned that we humans produce up to six cups of saliva a day. In her previous job as a Sun reporter, she checked out whether a pub in Gravesend would enforce its no-swearing rule: after some assiduous effing and blinding by Emer, it ejected her. Where do charities find these people?
The slightly shambolic comedian Mark Watson, who presented Third Sector's awards in September, was taken aback by the bumptiousness of Sir Stephen Bubb, who received the Lifetime Achievement award after 15 years leading Acevo. He wasn't retiring, Bubb declared, and predicted great things for his new organisation, Charity Futures. "That's the first time I've seen someone get a lifetime achievement award and immediately put in a bid for another one," said Watson.