The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities today (26 March 2017) published its report, 'Stronger charities for a stronger society', in which it recognised the important role charities play in our society.
The report made several recommendations including:
- Calling for more support for charities' core costs and for longer contracts so charities can plan for the future.
- More training and skills development for charity trustees in order to improve governance.
- For the Government and Charity Commission to engage more effectively with the charity sector ensuring regulations and guidance does not restrict charities' vital campaigning and advocacy roles.
- Additional support for charities with digital technology and innovation.
Paul Streets, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales who gave evidence to the committee responded:
“We welcome the recommendations made by the Lords today to better support small and medium sized charities. Small charities make up 97% of the voluntary sector in the UK, yet policy and debate is too often dominated by the view and perspective of larger charities.
"Our own evidence to the committee drew on the experiences of the hundreds of small charities who tell us about the daily battle they face to deliver essential public services with ever dwindling resources.
"We’re pleased the Committee recommended that greater use should be made of grants and called on local and national government to improve the way it commissions services when contracts are used. Every day small charities are losing out on contracts. The committee’s recognition of the reality they face; caught up in complex and inappropriate contracting and commissioning processes, will provide much needed reassurance to those charities struggling today.
"Small charities have been waiting for action by the Government since it announced its intention to improve public commissioning in December 2016. We implore the Government and local authorities to act on what the Lords have said today so we can secure the future of small charities working at the heart of local communities and the essential public services they provide.”
See the evidence we submitted in full.