Ministers want new advice body

A streamlined advisory body is being proposed to draw on expertise from the third sector and give advice to the Government about its policies for the sector.

The new organisation would take the place of existing advisory bodies such as the Voluntary and Community Sector Advisory Group, the Futurebuilders Advisory Panel and the Infrastructre National Partnership.

The proposal was made in the recent third sector review from the Cabinet Office, which gave few details. A Government spokesman said that plans were at an early stage.

One possible model, recently proposed by chief executives body Acevo, is being considered by David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, who is overseeing voluntary sector policy for the Labour Party manifesto.

Acevo recently wrote to the Office of the Third Sector suggesting a 12-member council that would advise ministers on how the sector could contribute.

The proposed council would audit progress on the third sector review, make recommendations to the Compact Commissioner and have an oversight of bodies such as Capacitybuilders.

Blunkett told Third Sector: "We are at very early stages: we will be exploring this with a range of other proposals. But the final say will rest with the Prime Minister."

Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the Directory of Social Change, said: "They need to make sure they have people on it who are actually running charities, especially smaller ones, and doing the work."

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