Oral Answers to Questions — Social Exclusion

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 2000.

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Photo of Neil Turner Neil Turner Labour, Wigan 12:00 am, 8th March 2000

What progress has been made in implementing the reports of the social exclusion unit. [112262]

Photo of Dr Mo Mowlam Dr Mo Mowlam Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Cabinet Office

I can confirm that good progress is being made towards achieving the Government's targets on the four reports that have been published by the social exclusion unit. Those reports were "School Truancy and Exclusion", published in May 1998, "Rough Sleeping", published in July 1998, "Teenage Pregnancy", published in June 1999, and "Bridging the Gap", published in July 1999.

A draft report for consultation, on the national strategy for neighbourhood renewal, is due to be launched in early April.

Photo of Neil Turner Neil Turner Labour, Wigan

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, and I am sure that we all look forward to the report coming out in April. However, does she accept that strategies by themselves are not enough, and that what is needed is action on the ground to deliver services? In particular, does she agree that, to deliver those strategies, we need the required investment, and the involvement with local communities of all levels of government?

Photo of Dr Mo Mowlam Dr Mo Mowlam Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Cabinet Office

I agree very much with my hon. Friend. Change is effective only when people have ownership of it. That is why the new deal for communities is a key element in neighbourhood renewal. It will provide £800 million over the next three years to ensure that the pathfinder projects are in place. If communities buy into those projects, we will have a much better chance of achieving good success.

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

Will the social exclusion unit be turning its attention to the plight of the hon. Member for Brent, East (Mr. Livingstone), who has now been excluded from the Labour party, or to the plight of the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson), who is increasingly excluded from any possibility of getting Labour votes?