Volunteer levels could fall - MSPs

A committee of MSPs has criticised the Scottish Executive's proposed legislation to protect vulnerable people, saying it could result in a downturn in volunteering.

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups Bill would oblige those working with children or susceptible adults to undergo retrospective criminal record checks (Third Sector, 4 October).

But the Scottish Parliament's finance committee has warned in a new report that the proposals might not represent value for money. "The committee is extremely concerned that volunteer levels will continue to decline, and this could have a severe impact on the sector," it said.

Gavin Yates, communications manager at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "We don't think the Bill in its current form will produce the improvement in children's safety required, and it is clear that the finance team in the Scottish Parliament agrees."

The SCVO last week gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's education committee, which is currently reviewing the Bill.

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