Charity education programme urged

The new government training programme for public sector commissioners should be mirrored by an education programme for charities, according to the Local Government Association.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet Office announced it was investing £2m in a programme to train 2,000 commissioners in local authorities and statutory bodies such as Jobcentre Plus in an effort to help them understand the voluntary sector better (Third Sector, 14 March).

But Richard Kemp, voluntary sector spokesman at the LGA, said charities also needed to be taught about local authorities. "The training programme needs to be in both sectors," he said.

Many third sector organisations weren't fully aware of the regulatory and democratic frameworks within which local authorities had to work, Kemp said. They also often did not approach public sector bodies with solutions.

"Those that do - big organisations like Age Concern - get the work," he said.

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