The new minister for Care Services Paul Burstow' made a speech to ACEVO called “Charity funding and the new Government” which appeared on the Department of Health website yesterday. Full text at

Some interesting statements near the end about the voluntary sector and personal budgets, advocacy and brokerage:

“I want to push decisions as close to the individual as possible. And one way forward is through direct payments and personal budgets. We’ve also committed to extending the use of these.

This will open doors for third sector bodies, both in providing services directly, and also playing a vital role in advocacy and brokerage.

But this is a two-way street. Just as public sector organisations are being challenged to raise standards and cut costs, so charities and voluntary organisations will need to adapt.”