Back Page: My week - Rosamund McCarthy

Monday - I'm enjoying a holiday in Cornwall. I spend the day sunning myself on Nanjizal beach - my absolute favourite place in the world.

Tuesday - An afternoon swim in the sea contrasts nicely with my attendance at a morning board meeting of Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change (Cn4C). The popular image of Cornwall is one of golden sand and bohemian artists, but it is actually one of the poorest areas in the UK. Cn4C does amazing work on hugely deprived estates. This is the essence of regeneration: grass roots, inspiring and unsung.

Wednesday - I meet some friends in Penzance and discuss the rage for internet dating that has swept the town. The 1601 Elizabethan Statute provided that the marriage of poor maids was charitable as well as promoting the efficiency of the armed forces. Why is the armed forces object in the Charities Bill, but not matchmaking? Surely, in this post-Bridget Jones era, we should give charitable tax relief for finding true love.

Thursday - A chance to catch up with holiday novels from the Man Booker long list. I advise the Booker Prize Foundation, so I always keep an eye on the front-runners.

My other reading matter is not so uplifting. I browse Liberty's website for some research on campaigning. This induces outrage at attacks on rights to demonstrate, added to a sense of frustration at the sheer volume of new criminal legislation being introduced.

I try to weigh this response up against the many good things the Government has done for the charity sector. It's difficult to bite the hand that feeds us, but civil liberties are too important to ignore.

This is a message reinforced by one of my guiding mentors, Andrew Phillips, who has just stepped down from the House of Lords. It will be strange, upon my return to London, not to have him around so much. He has always inspired me by seeing the bigger picture. He has also infuriated me by being impossible to brief - an enemy of spin, he never follows my carefully crafted key messages.

Friday - Coming back to London also means the final stages of the Charities Bill. I look forward to continuing working with Compass, as well as with the MPs who have tabled the public benefit amendment.

I ambushed the always approachable Ed Miliband on public benefit at the last Compass conference, and I'm wondering if, as rumoured, the Government's stance will change. Back in Cornwall, in isolated rural communities, this debate has real meaning - its outcome will shape things to come.

- Rosamund McCarthy writes in a personal capacity and is a consultant for Bates Wells and Braithwaite.

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