Voluntary sector weak on regional policy, says think tank

Charities need to have a bigger say in policy at a regional level, report by the Institute for Public Policy Research suggests

Charity leaders do not think the sector has sufficient influence over policy at a regional level, research by think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research has indicated.

The interim findings of research on regional engagement with the charity sector, carried out by IPPR North, showed that 80 per cent of charity leaders thought decision-making at a regional or sub-regional level was important.

But 60 per cent said the voluntary sector's voice in policy in those arenas was "not very well established".

Katie Schmuecker, research fellow at IPPR North, said: "Given the backdrop of the recession, it is more important than ever for economic development plans to support deprived areas as well as areas of opportunity. The voluntary and community sector has much to contribute in this respect."

The research will be unveiled at chief executives body Acevo's third north of England conference in York today.

Jenny Berry, director of Acevo in the north, called on regional institutions to ensure that charities based in the regions received their fair share of the £42.5m action plan for the third sector announced by the Government earlier this month.

"The role of charities in helping us through these times must be championed at regional level in all of the English regions," she said.

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