28th November 2007

University of Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom

A very successful November Day Conference was held at the University of Birmingham last month, attended by over 40 members and others. In the morning Peter Taylor-Gooby (Kent) and Mike Locke (UEL) led a lively debate on the role of trust in the development and delivery of welfare services by voluntary and community organisations. This was followed by the AGM, with the announcement of the election for the Steering Group for the coming year, with all the current incumbents re-elected. It was Gareth Morgan’s last AGM as Treasurer, however; and the meeting thanked him for all his excellent work in establishing a viable legal and financial foundation for the organisation.

In the afternoon Ken Ashford (former Charity Accountant, Charity Commission) posed the question – can the UK model for charity reports and accounts provide a basis for worldwide NGO accountability? And answered – no, but it could help. Rob Macmillan (Sheffield Hallam) reported on the unsettled state of third sector infrastructure, which if anything has been more unsettled by the impact of ChangeUp (and he managed to include a baseball in his presentation!). Finally Linda Milbourne (Birkbeck) made a plea for research on the unsung heroes in front line agencies struggling with the pressures of partnership and procurement, whose voices should be heard. Then we all had tea and biscuits…