chief executive Stuart Etherington has called on politicians
from all sides for an “honest discussion” over
the future role of the voluntary sector.
Speaking at NCVO’s Autumn Conference in Manchester,
Etherington said he expected to have an open and frank discussion
with all political parties about how they see the sector’s
involvement in creating the good society in the run-up to
Etherington said: “It is very clear to me that politicians
of all sides understand and respect the contribution we
make to the lives of people and communities. There is also
a clear consensus that we can and should be enabled to take
on a greater role in some spheres. What we need now is an
honest discussion about how we achieve that.”
In a speech this week, David Cameron set out his vision
for a “big society” including a far greater
role for voluntary groups.
He said the era of “big government” was over
as it discouraged personal responsibility.
He posed “big society” as the alternative in
which Government’s role would be “galvanising”
and “agitating” “families, individuals,
charities and communities” to come together and solve
Commenting on Cameron’s speech, Etherington called
for a dialogue on how these aspirations might be realised.
Etherington spoke to around 200 of the organisation’s
7,500 member charities at the NCVO conference today and
set out the organisation’s vision of a “good
society” including calling for commitments from banks
to help tackle social exclusion, an increase in local action
through volunteering as well as more effort from business
in allowing staff paid leave to carry out voluntary work.
He also encouraged voluntary organisations to contribute
their thoughts on what made a good society and what roles
the voluntary sector and the state should play.