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Labour Vows To Form Partnership With Charities And Plans ‘Society Of Service’

Labour leader SirKeir Starmer has promised to “reset” the relationship between government and charities, if his party is elected, and announced his vision for a “society of service”.

Sir Kier said that “for too long, your voice has been ignored”.

“This is a once in a generation chance, a mission-led government, a partnership between government and civil society,” Our door is open. We will welcome anyone who wants to make our national life better to take their place at the table to shape the future with us, and, I’ll be frank with you, it isn’t just an invitation to you – it’s an ask.” he said.

Taking questions from “stakeholders” in the audience after his speech, Sir Keir told the third sector he recognised that charities were “trying to provide support probably with less resource than you’ve ever had before” and said that “has to be addressed as part of what we do going forward”.

“The relationship between government and civil society needs a reset,” he told delegates at the Labour and Civil Society Summit in London, hosted by Pro Bono Economics.

“Because you should feel that you can speak up on behalf of the people you serve without fear, call out injustice where you see it, continue to push us to be able to do better.”

Sir Kier thanked those in the sector “whose work so often goes unsung” and said “you should not have to clean up the mess your government created” adding that he wanted to implement an action plan on how a future Labour government “would work with civil society for a society of service”.

Steve Veevers, CEO of Hft says:

“It’s refreshing to hear that, should they be elected, the Labour party want to create genuine partnerships with the Third Sector in order to address their key policy priorities.”

“Starmer is right to outline how the Third Sector has a comprehensive understanding of society’s challenges and can propose the best solutions, due to its delivery of vital services.

“However, it’s imperative that, in the creation of a ‘society of service’, charities are not taken for granted. We must be properly remunerated for the service we deliver.”

“For far too long, our sector, namely the adult social care sector, has had to foot the bill for the underfunding of the invaluable support it provides. This was clearly illustrated in our Sector Pulse Check research, published just last week in partnership with Care England, in which 79% of adult social care providers reported that local authority fees did not cover the costs associated with the increased National Living Wage in 2023.

“It is simply not realistic or sustainable to expect the Third Sector to continue to make up the difference when, thanks to a lack of central government funding, local government are not able to pay the true cost of care.

“We are ready and waiting to work with whomever forms the next government to address some of our key societal challenges. At the top of that list is securing a long-term funding settlement for adult social care so providers can deliver securely and sustainably into the future.”





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