Local government is facing severe financial challenges and yet demand for services continues to rise. No surprise then that local authorities and the public sector are turning to the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the expectation – and sometimes desperate hope – that it will fill the gaps in provision. But without an honest dialogue and understanding between the VCS and public sector, little will be achieved and, worse, the relationship between the two sectors could deteriorate. The voluntary sector is rightly proud of its independence, and mostly has no wish to be subservient or beholden to the state, even when in receipt of public money. On the other hand, there are some charities and social sector organisations that see their role solely as contractors to the public sector. Then there are organisations that have grown a social entrepreneurial approach to meet a perceived gap in need from local … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

John Tizard

John Tizard is an independent strategic advisor and commentator on public policy and services. He is a former council leader and was director of the Centre for Public Service Partnerships.