Cultural Playing Field

DCMS Voluntary and Community Sector Forum meeting by Robin Simpson
December 12, 2008, 4:54 pm
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I’ve been back in London again today to attend the DCMS Voluntary and Community Sector Forum meeting. We started with a discussion about the economic downturn and its impact on the voluntary and community sector within the DCMS remit. So far the department’s research shows relatively minor impact on attendances and visitor numbers but considerable risks in relation to local authorities cutting spending. We then heard about work DCMS is undertaking to identify ways to strengthen philanthropy and private sector support from individuals, business supporters, trusts and foundations. Currently, only 4% of total charitable giving finds its way into the cultural sector. Adam Terry from the Government Olympic Executive updated us on the 2012 Olympics volunteering programme and told us of plans for a Volunteering Summit to be held in early 2009. We looked in detail at the draft new DCMS Third Sector Strategy and talked, particularly, about setting specific targets around the role of the VCS Forum. Finally we heard an update on changes to the DCMS regional infrastructure: the Regional Cultural Consortia are to be abolished from March 2009 to be replaced by new arrangements involving better co-ordination and partnership between the four DCMS Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) with a regional presence (Arts Council England, Sport England, English Heritage and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council). The detailed plans for these new arrangements are to be agreed by the four NDPB Chief Executives at the end of January. 

Robin Simpson.

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