Charities "should have 25-year grant funding"

Third sector organisations should be given grants for up to 25 years to encourage long-term thinking, innovation and independence, according to the chief executive of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Graham Benfield will tell a WCVA conference in Llandudno tomorrow that three-year funding is not long-term funding.

"It means one year to set up, one year to implement and one year to close down and search for more money," he will say. Grants for between 10 and 25 years would constitute long term, Benfield will argue.

The sector is well placed to deal with long-term challenges such as climate change and social disharmony, according to Benfield, but only if it enjoys the kind of income security enjoyed by statutory services.

He will argue that regular performance reviews would prevent complacency.

Benfield will also say that competitive tendering is appropriate only for highly specified services. "The idea that procurement is a way to build long-term relationships with the sector is not right," he will say.

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