Don't just toe the Government's line, urges Tyler

The voluntary sector is in danger of being "overwhelmed" by the Government's agenda, according to Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the Directory of Social Change.

As the Chancellor used the Budget last week to announce a major review of the role of charities in social and economic regeneration, the head of the training and advocacy body lamented "conversations about the future of our sector being led by government and not us".

She also criticised sector umbrella bodies for toeing the Government's line. "Where are our leaders?" she said. "It could be argued that the key voice agencies in our sector are dancing joyfully to its tune. Are we so blinded by Government love and attention that we have lost the ability to speak for ourselves?"

Tyler's comments came as the DSC published results of a membership survey showing that 68 per cent of respondents do not think public service delivery should be a charitable activity.

Only 17 per cent of the 574 respondents said it was, and 15 per cent answered "maybe". Tyler called for a "high-level" debate on the issue.

"One could infer from this that our own sector overwhelmingly does not support the continuing blurring of boundaries between the public and voluntary sectors or the policy positions of either our key voice agencies or the Charity Commission," she told Third Sector. "Our agenda is in danger of being overwhelmed by the Government's."

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