Kruger admits his review has not “sufficiently addressed” challenges facing large charities

Danny Kruger MP has conceded that his government commissioned review into the voluntary sector has not “sufficiently addressed the needs” of large national charities.

The Conservative MP for Devizes was speaking at the Charity Times Leadership Conference this week following the publication of his review into the role of charities amid the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

His review was called for by PM Boris Johnson to develop recommendations for the long-term future of the charity sector.

Greater powers over local public services through a Community Power Act and a volunteer passport system, were among plans Kruger put forward.

But delegate, Blood Cancer UK chief executive Gemma Peters, is concerned that Kruger’s review is too locally focased and has not recognised the need for support for national organisations like her charity, who support communities of beneficiaries across the country. She questions the focus on “communities” as being based on locality.

“Point taken,” said Kruger, who is a former political secretary to the Prime Minister.

“I’m conscious that I don’t think my report sufficiently addressed the needs in that space but that’s not to say I don’t recognise them all and anything I say is mitigating against those sort of organisations.”

The Association of Medical Research Charities and a number of large health charities are calling on the government to help them continue funding medical research amid the pandemic and income losses.

Kruger also admitted that his approach is through “quite a local prism” referencing his own experience in the voluntary sector, as founder of two London based local charities.

In addition, he said he was concerned by conflict within the charity sector between big and small voluntary sector organisation.

“I don’t like the sort of civil war between large and small or between place and issues and we do need to create an infrastructure that supports big charities and in particular the enormously important role of media research charities and support groups,” Kruger added.

Digital support

During his session Kruger also called for the charity sector to “radically upskill” in terms of digital and data, to support communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other speakers at the Charity Times Leadership Conference include Oxfam CEO Danny Sriskandarajah and Gerald Oppenheim, Fundraising Regulator CEO.

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