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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 February 2015 - 1:45pm

The news that the health and social care budgets in Manchester are to be integrated is a massive step forward for better health and well-being there - and a beacon for the rest of the country.

When I wrote the Winterbourne View report I recommended that budgets for health and care for people with learning disabilities must be combined. This move in Manchester will enable better planning and commissioning that ensures community placements,  not placements in institutions. Interestingly, the figures on the use of institutions show that the North uses institutions for people with learning disabilities significantly  more than the rest of the country. Often councils have block contracts with institutions like Calderstones in Lancashire, and it is too easy for them to use those places than make proper provision in the community. And shockingly these cost up to £12,000 a week. Community places are both more cost effective and better care. The move in Manchester and the decision ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 26 February 2015 - 11:44am

It's a long time since I ate a semolina pudding! But Monday I was having lunch with Baroness Angela Smith in the House of Lords. Angela was the last third sector Minister before the coalition took over and appointed Nick Hurd. But she had the rank of Minister of State - the coalition demoted the role I'm afraid. Angela was also my parents' MP when she was in the Commons, so we like to keep in touch. She continues to take a huge interest in the third sector and is one the Commissioners on the Low Commission on better regulation (they have a meeting on Friday).
Last night was a fun and somewhat poignant leaving party for Anne Longfield who is leaving 4Children after 27 years to become the Children's Commissioner. Anne has been a superb CEO and a long time member of ACEVO. The distinguished guest list was a testament to her success. Why, I even bumped into Cherie Blair (literally, as I was reaching for my coat!). Harriet Harman emerged from her bus and many doyens of the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 23 February 2015 - 10:30am

In these times of somewhat frenetic electioneering, a charity leader needs to be even-handed on the party political front. So I was happy to support the West Oxfordshire Conservative Association coffee morning on Saturday in Charlbury. Bought a very nice Victoria sponge from Sarah Potten (her husband later sold me some of their excellent eggs!), and a jar of Seville marmalade. I even met the Chair of the Association. Sarah has an important role to play in village life as she is one of the Parish representatives for selecting our new Vicar. Interviews are on Friday. My only advice: please don't choose an evangelical!
The Bishops’ letter last week continues to stir things up. My sister Lucy sent me a copy from the Chelmsford Diocesan newsletter. All entirely reasonable and sensible. It’s a sign of the times that critics have piled in to condemn. Most of them not having read the letter. Camilla Cavendish in the Sunday Times was right to point out that these critics need to tread ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 17 February 2015 - 9:16am

We are in a surfeit of party leader speeches and it is still 80 days to go before the election. Will all this debating help or hinder? I was having dinner with Andrew Barnett, the dynamic and charming (no he’s not giving me money!) CEO of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and we were both agreeing it is all a bit tedious. Even though we know it's important. 
I was interested in Ed Miliband's speech yesterday on Labour’s ‘Better Plan for Britain’s Prosperity’.The plan builds on the feedback and ideas that many  in the business community have given Labour and sets out “how the next Labour Government will chart a path to higher productivity in all parts of the economy as the basis of a renewed and inclusive prosperity. Central to Labour’s plan is an understanding that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed.”And David Cameron spoke recently on the Tory plan for the economy. Clearly both parties are vying for the business vote and both are setting out their alternative ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 February 2015 - 3:14pm

It's part of the Sunday morning ritual in Charlbury. I go to the 8am Holy Communion at the Parish Church, then pop up to our friendly newsagents for the morning papers. On this Sunday my pack contained the Sunday Telegraph, as I had heard it might mention the row over the Charity Commission Chair reappointment. I do like the weekend Telegraphs – their news coverage is always rather good even if its tone is true to type – and the travel /reviews etc. are very good. And their assistant editor Philip Johnston is like me an Old Anchorian!
But I digress. Back to the Charity Commission. The recent report of the Independence Panelhad some stringent criticisms of the regulator. As they reported , "our concerns about the leadership of the Charity Commission on the independence of the sector have deepened over the last year."
They charge that "the Commission is giving the impression of being politically driven. Its focus seems to ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 12 February 2015 - 9:27am

Settling down to catch up on Coronation St I was disturbed by someone at the door. It turned out to be a fundraiser from the Battersea Dogs Home. My faithful hound having also appeared at the door I felt I could hardly resist taking up the offer to give them a DD donation.
In fact I'm rather prone to signing up to fundraisers. I've done that for people who popped round from the British Heart Foundation and VSO. And I also can't resist the charms of street fundraisers, or ‘chuggers’ as some term them. So I have an eclectic list of charities I support; but then as the CEO of ACEVO I can hardly turn them down. And it’s a bit like market research for me as I get their literature through the post or the emails. Shelter are particularly assiduous in their search for funds. But then they need to be. Getting support for the homeless sector is difficult. Hedge fund managers and their ilk like something more cuddly, and we have such a long way to go before such people match the level ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 11 February 2015 - 2:54pm

So, there I was. On a trading estate in Deptford (not known as the most salubrious part of South London it has to be said) in my high vis jacket. No, not doing a George Osborne on the campaign trail, but visiting FareShare, a charity run by an old colleague, Lindsay Boswell. FareShare receives food surplus (in-date) from the supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to charities. It's big business. Big charity business.

Actually I mustn't be too down on Deptford. It has a fine history. Christopher Marlowe is buried up the road in the fine old Church of St Nicholas, Deptford, and just opposite the warehouse is the spot where the first German bomb ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 10 February 2015 - 1:17pm

One of the perils of having a weekend away is getting a cold. And as any CEO knows, taking any time off for a cold is a no-no. So this was perhaps not the best background for appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the formidable but brilliant Margaret Hodge.
The PAC were taking evidence on the recent National Audit Office report on Winterbourne View and the care of people with learning disabilities. Basically, the report gave more detail about the failures of the health system to provide proper care for people with learning disabilities.
Its evidence very much backed up my own report last November, “Winterbourne view – time for change”, so I was pleased to be able to hammer home messages from my report.
I was keen to be fair and constructive in my analysis, and where I had criticisms to couch them positively. ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 9 February 2015 - 3:47pm

Last week Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Michael Dugher MP, made an important announcement for community transport charities. He said a future Labour government would look to not-for-profit transport operators to help communities that are poorly served by the unregulated bus markets outside London. This is a good sign for the third sector.
Community transport is an important part of the debate on devolution and local authority powers. Why shouldn’t local authorities be able to shape their local bus services in the public interest? I’m pleased to hear a front bench politician addressing this question.
Politicians often say that a broken market can be repaired by diversifying the provision of services. But they don’t so often go on to say that the third sector should be a central ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 5 February 2015 - 11:48am

Well today’s been good for drawing attention to charities’ work in A&E. We’ve announced a new programme with Red Cross, Age UK and RVS, funded by the Cabinet Office. 700 charity volunteers to work in the 29 most under-pressure A&E departments around the country, and help reduce demand on A&E over the next 12 weeks. See today’s Telegraph for an excellent roundup by Chris Hope.
Naturally, this is the precursor to bigger things. I’m making sure that government collect evidence of how charities can reduce the load on A&E. It’ll be a good evidence base for a wider national intervention in future years. Charities need to be integral to A&E strategic planning in future. This programme will help make that happen.
But what of the parties’ thoughts on the third sector’s role across social care + health? At election time ...more