Tories will review third sector capacity-building if they win on 6 May

Government-funded Capacitybuilders is doing better after a poor start, leading Tories believe

The Conservatives would review the work of Capacitybuilders and other infrastructure organisations if they won the forthcoming election.

Capacitybuilders was scolded in the National Audit Office report that also criticised the Futurebuilders fund, the income from which the Tories pledged last week to divert to neighbourhood renewal.

But it is understood the Conservatives believe that capacity-building is still needed and that Capacitybuilders has been performing better after a poor start. It has a budget of £90m in the 2008-11 spending round.

The party is concerned that current capacity-building efforts are uncoordinated and inefficient, and the review would examine how to get more help to front-line organisations.

Before the Futurebuilders policy, the only firm pledge for the sector so far from the main parties was a Liberal Democrat proposal for a composite rate for Gift Aid. This was revealed during interviews by the Directory of Social Change a fortnight ago.

"On the positive side, we have three politicians who seem to have a decent grasp of what the voluntary sector is and are fairly knowledgeable about a range of policy issues," said Jay Kennedy, policy officer at the DSC. "We haven't always had that."


Stephen Cook

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