'No progress' on a fifth of Defra's Third Sector Strategy commitments

Report finds only 10% of tasks completed

A year after unveiling its strategy, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has made no progress in one in five of its commitments to improving how it works with charities, including some marked for immediate action.

A progress report on the department's five-year Third Sector Strategy, published last week, reveals that almost 10 per cent of the 132 actions identified to develop the department's understanding of and relationship with the sector are complete, with the majority still ongoing.

A Defra spokesman said the strategy was intended as a foundation for work over five years and the department was pleased to have made progress on nearly 80 per cent of the commitments in the first year.

Huw Irranca-Davies, Defra's minister with responsibility for the third sector, said that in the past year charities had played a "leading part" in working with the department on climate change projections, the Marine Bill and the development of new policies on food security.

He said third sector organisations had provided "expert advice and challenge and support in equal measure".

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