A group of Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) experts from across our various client sectors have gazed into their crystal ball and given us a view on how 2021 is looking.
For those working in the third sector, and for us all, the Brexit outcome creates some profound uncertainties, and tells us some difficult truths. There are also immediate practical implications.
Many of you will rightly be concerned about the impact on your communities and those you work with, and dealing with the degree of fracture and alienation in our national life. As Stuart Etherington said on Friday 24th June, “the voluntary sector is needed now more than ever” (found here).
We are already seeing some worrying changes of mood in our own cities and neighbourhoods, with disturbing attacks on community centres used by EU nationals, for example. We all need to focus on maintaining and growing relationships of trust wherever we are, and our third-sector and faith-based clients will be central to this process in their communities.
The devaluation of currency and other assets is already being faced by overseas development charities and other organisations with substantial overseas activities. It will also impact on organisations involved in building schemes, particularly community-led housing. There may also be indirect impact if, for example, there is an increase in borrowing for the public sector from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) – we have a number of clients from the community sector developing schemes, working with their local authority, which are part funded by the PWLB. Costs of these schemes may increase to the point where they are no longer viable. Finally, charities with legacy defined benefit pension schemes may face increasingly problematic deficits as markets fall and investment income reduces.
Change of sentiment
There may well be an impact on funding. Many charities are funded directly or indirectly from European sources, and a number of programmes or projects starting now will have funding terms that go beyond the likely date of the Brexit. Just for example, the Building Better Opportunities Fund - a European Social Fund backed programme run by the Big Lottery Fund, is timetabled to run until 2020. Whether it will or not is another matter entirely.
Government policy change
If there is indeed a shift in policy, it is likely to be a shift to a more right-wing agenda, given the position of much of the “leave” camp. We have already seen the indirect impacts of public sector reforms on charities supporting the poorest in our society. Currently the policy position is very unclear, and we will all need to watch carefully as events unfold.
Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
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