Third sector at large: Minister's bones of contention over the Localism Bill

Localism minister Greg Clark, Sir Stephen Bubb's knighthood and the Firefighters Charity are on our minds this week

- The government is clearly getting sensitive about the accusation that its policies have been drafted on the back of a fag packet. The localism minister, Greg Clark, was so keen to emphasise that the Localism Bill had been properly thought through that he told the all-party parliamentary group on the sector last week that the legislation contained "more clauses than there are bones in the human body". Which is 206, in case you ask, but we're not convinced that really tells us very much.

- Sir Stephen Bubb, leader of Acevo, was quick to leverage his new year knighthood with appearances in The Times and on the BBC Ten O' Clock News, calling for a tax on bankers' bonuses. That's the way to do it. But Acevo reports that it's since been "inundated" with both abusive and patronising calls from those public-spirited moneylenders, suggesting that it should stick to charity work. Aren't we told that these chancers will all decamp to Switzerland if their bunce is denied them - and wouldn't that be a result?

- The pitch allocation system of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is getting so complex that it now has to be expressed in a mathematical formula. So if you want 20 fundraisers working five days a week and five prospectors working two days a week over a four-week period, it's (20 x 5 x 4) + (5 x 2 x 4) = 440 recruiter days.

Now is that clear?

- Ten Days in May sounds like a movie - and who knows, it might be one some day. We're talking about the time allocated to the Upper Tribunal's forthcoming examination of the lawfulness of the Charity Commission's public benefit guidance in relation to fee-paying schools. The specialists are brushing down their anoraks in anticipation of this one - and it's not going to be in the kind of grubby basement where the tribunals often do business. Oh no. In charge will be Sir Nicholas Warren, who, as president of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) Chamber, has his own gaff in the Royal Courts of Justice.

- Charity accounts are not noted as a source of humour. But they have their moments, as when the Firefighters Charity refers to its liquid resources (both inflow and outflow). But then they spoil it with figures in pounds sterling rather than gallons.

Contact us at thirdsector@haymarket.com

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