The voluntary and community sectors are core to local civil society and should be involved in the shaping of places, says John Tizard It is disappointing that all too often a conversation about the voluntary and community sector with politician or local authority officers quickly moves to a discussion about public service contracting. Equally it is more than disappointing when local and national community leaders and activists seemingly only want to talk about public service contracting, and the quality of public sector procurement. Of course, the voluntary and community sectors (VCS) have always played an important role in the delivery of public services. This has been financially supported by the public sector through grants or, increasingly, through contracts. Partnership has been replaced on many occasions by competitive tendering processes with the VCS being seen by too many public sector leaders and practitioners as little more than smaller and cheaper providers … (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.