NCVO launches campaign for new Charity Bill in 2003 Queen's Speech

Howard Lake | 1 October 2002 | News

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has today launched a campaign for a new Charity Bill which will implement the Strategy Unit’s recommendations on charity law as legislation to be introduced in the 2003 Queen’s Speech.
The campaign was launched at a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Blackpool.
Campbell Robb, NCVO’s Director of Public Policy, told delegates: “NCVO believes that it is essential, in the interest of preserving public trust and confidence in charities, that the recommendations announced by the Government’s Strategy Unit last week are enacted through a new Charity Bill in next years’ Queen’s speech. There can be no compromise and no delay. The voluntary sector must work to ensure that having come this far charity law reform makes it from the shelf onto the statute books.”
The campaign is designed to achieve a new Bill that includes the statutory measures as recommended by the Strategy Unit report:
• Charitable status to be dependent on evidence of public benefit
• Reform of the Charity Commission to focus it on its regulatory role
• An independent appeals mechanism with a suitors ‘fighting’ fund
Robb added: “The Strategy Unit report gives the voluntary sector real hope of seeing the long overdue reform of our antiquated charity law. This opportunity must not be wasted. We must guard against this iimportant legislation slipping down the Parliamentary agenda and being lost amongst other legislative priorities.”
The NCVO’s campaign will include generating concern about the current nature of charity law, raising awareness of the need for new legislation, and briefings for MPs, Peers and opinion formers.
NCVO’s new Charity Law Experts Group, chaired by Lady Winifred Tumim, will hold its first meeting on 8 October to discuss the details of appropriate legislation.

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