Peter Kellner, chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, has said he is determined that this year’s general election will be the last at which none of the main political parties has any firm policies on the voluntary sector.
Speaking yesterday at a joint parliamentary reception of the NCVO and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering, Kellner said the biggest failure of the past year was the fact that none of the main political parties had anything substantial to say about voluntary action in the run-up to the election in June.
He said he was disappointed this was the case and he was determined to ensure that this year was the last time it would happen.
But he said he was proud of what voluntary organisations had done to respond to the Grenfell Tower fire in June.
"I hope that we can persuade all the parties in the years ahead that if they build in the work of civil society and the work of our sector they are much more likely to achieve their wider goals to help create a better society," he said.
Speaking after Kellner, Steve Reed, the shadow minister for civil society, told the reception that his party had been caught out by the speed at which the election was called.
He said the fact that the government’s forthcoming voluntary sector strategy would not contain any new funding for the sector meant it would be "hobbled".
He said the strategy would be operating "with one hand tied behind its back" because it could be that some spending now could unlock funds further down the line.