Voluntary trusteeship is what makes charities special - nationals respond to Lord Hodgson's review of the Charities Act

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Charities should be given more control and freedom over how they are run, Lord Hodgson said in his report on the Charities Act 2006.

Last year, the Government appointed Lord Hodgson to conduct a wide-ranging review of the Charities Act 2006 to investigate whether it is fit for purpose. He was asked to consider if better regulation is needed and whether the existing rules are enabling charities to operate easily. The Government will carefully consider his recommendations.

As part of the recommendations, Lord Hodgson is calling for greater freedom for charities to decide how they are run, but balanced with greater transparency. His report intends to:

    hand back power and control to trustees by reducing red tape;
    help charities demonstrate their success by making information requirements simpler and more transparent;
    revolutionise investment rules to open up the social investment market for charities.

In return, charities would be asked to be more transparent and accountable to the public, by focusing information requirements on what the public need and want, and agreeing stronger rules on the regulation of fundraising. 

NAVCA, the umbrella body for voluntary and community sector support organisations (like Voscur) says that it is pleased to see recommendations that will make it easier to run a charity, including Lord Hodgson's call for the Charitable Incorporated Organisation legal form to be implemented immediately and the recommendation that charities should be able to voluntarily register with the Charity Commission. However NAVCA is concerned at some proposals, especially the recommendations to raise the threshold to £25,000, allow payment for trustees of large charities and charging new charities to register. More details of NAVCA's response is on its website.

NAVCA has joined with other national umbrella bodies, including NCVO and Community Matters, in writing to the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, expressing opposition to the payment of trustees. Voluntary trusteeship is something we have long seen as part of what makes charities special, say the nationals.