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Minister announces plan to help small charities win contracts

Rob Wilson, minister for civil society

Rob Wilson has announced a range of measures to help more small charities win contracts and has appointed former NCVO chair Sir Martyn Lewis to chair an implementation group. 

Measures announced today include developing a place-based Public Service Incubator to help small charities work with commissioners to identify and overcome barriers to getting commissioned, and developing a commissioning kitemark to highlight best practice. 

The announcement said that Lewis has been asked to chair a "voluntary sector-led implementation group on these proposals, to put them into practice".

A DCMS spokeswoman said that the first meeting of the implementation group is currently scheduled to take place in early 2017. Following the announcment, DCMS are asking for expressions of interest from those in the VCSE sector interested in partipating in the working group. She said the makeup of this group will be determined by the minister, as well as the chair of the working group with support from the Office of Civil Society.

Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Charities and Volunteering’s Christmas reception last night Wilson said the aim was to “empower the voluntary sector to be the best it possibly can be”. 

He said that he had decided to set up the group to monitor the implementation was to “work jointly with the sector to make sure that we are as effective as possible at delivering it” and for it to work “together with government to refine position”.

Peter Kellner, chair of NCVO was also speaking at the reception, and said that: “In times of austerity we have got to establish that we are value for money”. 

But that once charities can “demonstrate that they are well run” they will be in a better position to push through a move for three-year instead of one-year funding arrangements from commissioners and be in a “position to go to minister and his colleagues and say ‘we are the people that can really help you deliver”. 

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