Charity leaders meet with PM

Charity leaders met with the Prime Minister and other senior government ministers yesterday afternoon to discuss the sector’s role in the transformation of public services.

The meeting gave civil society representatives the chance to share with ministers their experiences of public service delivery, concerns about the impact of cuts, and suggest solutions and ideas for further reform.

The round table meeting at Number 10 Downing Street was organised in collaboration with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Attendees were drawn from NCVO’s Public Service Delivery Network.

Delegates gave the Prime Minister examples where local authorities are cutting inappropriately or disproportionately, and where VAT on shared services is causing problems for the sector.

They also discussed the potential impact that forthcoming changes to NHS commissioning will have on civil society organisations.

The meeting covered the sector’s need for capital, especially in the context of public services which will be contracted on the basis of Payment By Results.

Delegates also raised the importance of commissioning regimes recognising the additional costs of providing services to people with complex needs.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive at NCVO, said: "This meeting let our members communicate directly to the Prime Minister and other government representatives the challenges and opportunities they face.

"The delivery and reform of public services is at the heart of the Big Society vision, so sharing examples of good and bad practice gives a valuable steer on how to ensure the sector is supported to play a full part in this.

"We hope that the Government will continue to listen to and act on the sector’s views in the months ahead."

The delegates at the meeting were:

Government Delegates:

David Cameron MP, Prime Minister

Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office

Oliver Letwin MP, Minister of State, Cabinet Office

Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society

Greg Clark MP, Minister of State, Department of Communities and Local Government

Sir Gus O’Donnell, Secretary of the Cabinet

Public Service Delivery Network Delegates:

Sir Stuart Etherington, NCVO

Ben Kernighan, NCVO

Paul Ainsworth, Ariel Trust

Stephanie Correia, Southside Rehabilitation

Martin Kinsella, P3

Shane Brennan, Age Concern Kingston upon Thames

Sam Hopley, HCCT and Camden Shares

Andrew Purvis, Fairbridge

Jackie Nunns, Kids City

Jacob Whittingham, SE1 United

Jan Tregelles, Mencap

Benedict Leigh, Restore

Peter McCabe, Headway

Philip Lee, Southampton Voluntary Services

Yvonne Davis, Birmingham CAB

Robert Droy, Southampton Centre for Independent Living

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