Directory of Social Change speaks out against Government contracts

Nathalie Thomas

The Directory of Social Change is urging voluntary groups to contact the Treasury to speak out against Government plans to increase the sector's role in public service delivery.

The charity is concerned that nobody has spoken out against the plans, which were unveiled at the recent Three Sector Summit, despite a recent DSC survey showing that 68 per cent of respondents did not think public service delivery should be considered charitable (Third Sector, 29 March).

"It feels like we're hurtling down a motorway and the Government has doctored the brakes," said Graham Leigh, director of development at the DSC.

Leigh believes the sector could be heading towards a "catastrophe" in which the independence and diversity of the sector is lost. He wants smaller community organisations in particular to contribute to the public service delivery debate.

"Ignoring small organisations would be disastrous for the development of the sector," he said. "It would become more homogeneous - like the Tescoisation of the private sector."

If the sector shifts too far towards service delivery, Leigh added, even those small, independent organisations that are against service delivery could be tempted into taking up Government contracts because they appear to offer financial stability.

Charities can respond to the Treasury's consultation, which will feed into next year's Comprehensive Spending Review, by emailing ctsfu@hm-treasury.x.gsi. gov.uk.

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