Saturday 12 May 2012

Voluntary associations: time to reform the club?

The news at the end of last week was full of reaction to the legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech. Most commentators seemed underwhelmed. We’re still trying to work out how many mixed metaphors are contained in Polly Toynbee’s “This limp array of damp bills has been drained of any potential life” (which put us in mind of nothing so much as Roy's wonderful “damp squid” ). However, on Thursday, Michael Moore told the House of Commons that, in addition to the proposed bills outlined, the UK coalition “will seek to support the Scottish Law Commission in bringing forward measures to reform the law in relation to Scottish Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations”. Scarcely the kind of thing to get the heart racing, no doubt. And yet, it is by the work of the unincorporated association that much of the stuff of everyday civic life is delivered and the proposals should be of interest to anyone who has any dealings with a broad range of bodies from sports associations and childcare groups to branches of political parties, charities and religious organizations.