Durning may have 'different scenario' for the hubs

Capacitybuilders consultant Jo Durning could come up with a completely new proposal for the future of the national hubs of expertise, Third Sector has learned.

The former senior civil servant, whose hubs review was published last month, has been hired by Capacitybuilders to deliver a further analysis after a decision on the hubs' future was postponed until 22 November.

Durning will examine the pros and cons of the two options the Capacitybuilders board has selected as possible alternatives - improving the hub system or transferring commissioning powers to Capacitybuilders. But she could advocate a different scenario when she delivers her paper at the beginning of next month, according to Capacitybuilders chief executive Simon Hebditch.

Hebditch intends to make a robust defence of the independence of Capacitybuilders when he addresses the ruralnet rural development conference in Nottinghamshire next week.

He will respond to criticism that the organisation is an agency controlled by the Government.

"I'll give good reasons why I think we are sector-led and not being lent on by government," he said. "But I will be unapologetic about the fact that we have a job to do - to distribute taxpayers' money sensibly."

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