Lots of stuff to link to, following the government’s shedload of announcements at the Future Services Network event last week. PM + four (count them) ministers in attendance, all bigging up the voluntary sector, and the role it can play in public service reform. Which is welcome (with caveats…see below).
Tony Blair said the government wants "to harness the energy, and potential, and creativity of the sector", and said it was a priority, pointing to Ed Miliband (not literally) as a sign of this commitment. See press notice and Q&A for more.
Obviously this got covered everywhere. Society Guardian gave a good overview and the trade mags will weigh in next week, methinks. Of particular interest to social entrepreneurs may be Ed Miliband’s speech about a public service innovation team (speech here), and the (formal) announcement of the setting up of the DoH’s Social Enterprise Unit to encourage "entrepreneurialism and innovation" in health and social care.
There was also representation from DCLG (previously ODPM!) about strengthening the sector’s relationship with local government.
And that’s the main beef/caveat really. That worthy words from ministers don’t translate into action at local level (in the commissioning and procurement process, for example). Hopefully, such a high profile event will filter down to help make that happen….
[with thanks to the mighty VolResource for several links]