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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 23 January 2012 - 11:35am

A weekend in London so a tour of the South London parks with the Hound. Brockwell Park, Dulwich and Ruskin. But somehow they all exude an air of municipalism. Can we not do better? The worst was definitely ruskin where whole sections are fenced off with nasty signs saying " no dogs". The Hound rightly ignored such fascist instructions.


The shame! The missing Hepworth sculpture in Dulwich Park. Give it back
Here is a prime case for the third sector to take over. I have already told Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council , if he really believes in a cooperative council give me Brockwell Park.
As I told him I already actually own it. A little known fact but ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 20 January 2012 - 12:31pm

3 times this week. Yes, that's the number of times I was offered a seat on the bus and tube; once by a lady in her 20s. Surely I'm not looking that old! And I certainly don't feel it....

Still, I was in the right place last night if there were any problems. Guys Hospital; for a reception of the Guys and Tommies charity. Its the largest of the hospital charities in the UK. And saved from the grab of the state in 1947 by the Charity Commission , showing unusual determination they said Bevan could not nationalise the hospital endowments because they had been given for public benefit , not state aggrandisment.

I like to think of Guys as mine; because it is my local hospital and I have used it, and because I was a non exec for the 2 hospitals and because for over 500 years it was a charity hospital !

Paul Corrigan , that health radical , was speaking. The charity does huge good in supporting research and in making grants and loans locally. Yes, they do loans, so ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 19 January 2012 - 2:08pm

Trek to the Westminster Hub- a rather cool centre for budding social entrepreneurs and charities - to hear the PM talk about responsible capitalism. An interesting speech. I always like it when politicians ground their thinking and policy in historic roots so enjoyed his link with the reforming zeel of Peel and Disraeli ( corn law and factory acts ).
He was roundly quizzed on bonuses, a topic on which we will all be hearing so much more over the next weeks !
It was good that when it came to time for questions I didn't need to introduce myself because the PM did that for me. I suggested that whilst corporate social responsibility was good it could often be patronising; kindly business ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 19 January 2012 - 6:00am

It's the Commons Select Committee meeting on the health lottery today. The Gambling Commission will have to justify their decision to give licences to a national health lottery set up as 51 separate companies under a law that is supposed to prevent competition to the national lottery but allow local ones- like the many great hospice lotteries that we all support.

And ahead of this , the health lottery people had an interesting press conference yesterday. In the Savoy- that well known haunt of healthy living.

Their briefing paper was all sadly rather incoherent and rambling. In particular it rather took issue with me. I'm " out of touch with reality" apparently.

Jeremy Muller is one of the directors of the 51 CICs that manage the lottery. He says that I have " never been in business" and built my career through the unions.

Yes Jeremy. Guilty. It's true I ve never worked in the private sector.

But what an odd accusation. Are you really ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 18 January 2012 - 3:33pm

The Government have been committed to a revolution in rehabilitation. Goodness knows it's needed. We know prison does not work. We know the majority of those in prison are back there in a year. In opposition we worked with the Tories in particular on the need for a radical new approach.

So ACEVO set up a taskforce to see where it is all going. Published today we are calling for urgent and radical reform of the criminal justice system.

With prison population figures at record levels, reoffending rates stubbornly high and the Ministry of Justice facing a 23% budget cut, our members argue that as an economy and as a society, we simply cannot afford to continue with the self-defeating status quo.

ACEVO’s Reducing Reoffending taskforce is therefore urging Government to re-energise their commitment for a genuine Rehabilitation Revolution and work with the third sector to make sure it does not fall off track.

Back on Track, the Taskforce’s final report, ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 18 January 2012 - 10:38am

How great to hear that the St Giles Trust is to have Prince William as its patron. The CEO is the dynamic reformed capitalist Rob Owen who has been an active member of ACEVO for years. He is a real pace setter for our sector; his work on impact assessment is a classic. More on the the taksforce Rob has been leading for us later today.

And they celebrate their 50 th anniversary. I'm into anniversaries this year as ACEVO celebrates 25! Mondy night Michael Burton was celebrating 25 years at the Municipal Journal. He reminded us this was the year ( 1987) of Duran Duran and Bon Jovi....now there's an idea for the ACEVO reception. After all, we have done the Beatles!

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Lunch with Tom Flood at the British Museum. Here is Tom looking none of his 65 years! Rather trimmer than me I thought grumpily. What's he on ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 January 2012 - 4:45pm

A great day in Surrey; although in fact it wasn't as it was the London Borough of Kingston! I was speaking to the senior managers and directors and members of Surrey County Council at one of their lunchtime leadership sessions. And the HQ of Surrey CC is in Kingston. Once, of course a while back that was indeed in Surrey. Indeed my own dear Borough of Lambeth was in Surrey ( hence Surrey county cricket is at the Oval! ) some 100 years ago.

I was talking to a senior group of directors, to managers and members about how the third sector can deliver more services and how partnership working has to be the way forward. A very positive and constructive response. They are interested in taking the debate forward and were particularly keen to talk about the potential for loans to the sector.

Inevitably they raised the need for the sector to get its act together. How we don't cooperate or coordinate and how we sometimes assume we are good simply because we are the voluntary ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 12 January 2012 - 4:28pm

I've been writing to local council CEOs, along with my colleagues in ncvo and navca, to remind them about the role of the sector and decisions they will make on the 2012-13 budgets. We all know it will be tighter than ever.

I have been getting some interesting responses. One, from Stockton on Tees ;their CEO Neil Schneider tells me they have established an annual investment fund- including a loan element, so that the local third sector can bid for capacity building and sustainability projects. There is also a community fund put into a single endowment to get a higher RoR on investment.

This is exactly the type of work we need to encourage. I was delighted to see the loan project. I talked to Sir Merrick Cockell on this and I wonder if we can encourage more local councils to do this. We are pursuing that and I see the CEO of Barnet council next week who is ahead of the field on these ideas.

Southend on sea said the budget for our sector was one of the few ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 12 January 2012 - 10:53am

I'm not an early morning person! So it was a trial having to emerge at 6am to get to the "Today " programme. But as this is my favourite radio show ( along with The Archers! ) I was happy to do that and to take battle on behalf of charities who may face a loss of income from the competition of the health lottery against the national lottery.

Of course it is too early to say whether the competition is damaging national lottery sales but only recently there were big ads in the Desmond outlets with raging headlines saying" 7 times more likely to win our top prize". So he is clearly taking on the National Lottery and wanting people to switch. If they do , then only 20p goes to charities not the 28p from the National Lottery.

And this is not about arguing health charities should not get money. They face huge challenges and deserve more support. They need it , so if they get grants from the health lottery that is good. But it is not good if that has resulted in an ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 12 January 2012 - 9:57am

I am glad to say that the charity campaign against plans to means-test employment and support allowance (ESA) payments for disabled people after only a year were rejected by peers.

The means test would have applied to cancer patients and stroke survivors, and was denounced by Lord Patel, a crossbencher and former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians, ( they are acevo members) as an immoral attack on the sick, the vulnerable and the poor. "If we are going to rob the poor to pay the rich, then we enter into a different form of morality," Patel said.

The other defeats in the Lords were over plans to time-limit ESA for those undergoing cancer treatment, and to restrict access to ESA for young people with disabilities or illness.

I would urge the Government to rethink. There is no popular support for these particular changes. I really hope the Prime Minister and Ian Duncan Smith will review this and support the changes made by the Lords. It is the right ...more