So that was 2009. A year that began with a rather limp recession action plan and a damning National Audit Office report on the Government’s £446m attempts to strengthen the third sector, ended with the appointment of a new job-sharing, on-loan director-general of the Office of the Third Sector and the worst Compact breach in the agreement’s inglorious 11-year history.
In between there were job losses – bucket loads of them – as well as charities withdrawing from unprofitable welfare-to-work contracts and the acrimonious closure of the Third Sector Leadership Centre. Good, wasn’t it?
As for the highlights… well, Christie’s, the Manchester hospital charity, fought a loud and successful campaign to retrieve the £6.5m it had invested in failed Icelandic banks (although other charities didn’t get their money back), thanks to some government sleight of hand that nobody cared to investigate and the Scout Association beat ministers into submission with their persistent Stop the Rain Tax campaign.
A new Cabinet sub-committee was set up to do something or the other about removing the barriers that might help third sector organisations win central government contracts.
But perhaps the best news is that by this time next year, 2009 might not look so bad after all. Spring cuts at local authorities, the looming Comprehensive Spending Review and this wretched recession are only likely to increase the chill factor.
It would be nice to think things won’t turn out to be that bad over the next 12 months.
YOU MUST BE LOGGED IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT. CLICK REGISTER OR LOGIN AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THE SCREEN