Make 4 July a day of independence

Local Compact Voice has declared 4 July to be 'Independence Day' by asking every public body to do something to promote voluntary sector independence on that date.

The network for people who work on local compacts decided to organise the day amid fears that many public bodies are failing to respect charities' independence.

"This is a very live issue - groups are concerned for their independence," said Paul Barasi, an officer for Local Compact Voice. He cited over-prescriptive funding regimes and the imposition of grants and contracts without due consultation as sector grievances.

"Local groups still feel that campaigning or challenging the powers that be could put funding at risk, even though that cuts across Compact principles," added Barasi. "There is still a tendency for public bodies to invite in only those groups that agree with them."

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