THE MP for Barrow and Furness is preparing to present a Private Members Bill to Parliament in January to help support charities and civil society.

Shortly after the general election last year, Simon Fell MP was chosen in a ballot to create a new law. After nine months of talking to charities, civil servants, ministers and academics, the MP has now received the first drafts of his Bill to present to Parliament.

Mr Fell said he was 'delighted' to take receipt of a bundle of bound copies of his Bill.

Titled the Third Sector Organisations (Impact and Support) Bill, it will have its next reading in the House of Commons on January 22.

This bill is designed to help civil society and third sector organisations (like charities) measure and track their contribution to society in order to make it easier for them secure funding and share best practice.

Mr Fell said: “We all know an organisation or two in our community who step up and fill a gap - usually run by people who work every hour, and often going unsung.

"It’s people like that who hold our community together - supporting those who really need it, providing advice and respite to those who don’t know where else to turn, and making links and connections between people and resources that statutory services often can’t.

“I was inspired to bring this Bill forward after meeting with a few of the charities in Furness who really do amazing work but struggle, year on year, to maintain a consistent service as they live, effectively, from hand to mouth.

“The Bill does a few things that should help make things easier for civil society organisations who often sit at the very heart of our communities and provide support, training, comfort and so very much more to those who need it.”

If passed, the MP’s Bill will:

- Set up a Civil Society Empowerment Agency which will help organisations measure and demonstrate their impact;

- open up access to government data and agree standards to support robust measurement;

- create an index of third sector and civil society organisations so that we have a register of who is where and doing what;

- open up the commissioning of public services, meaning that local organisations are able to bid to provide services which are often delivered by the public sector;

- create a bank of good practice so that organisations can learn from each other, and

- reduce the steep barriers which exist for new and small charities to adequately measure their impact and thereby maintain sustainability.