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Voluntary Sector

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Julie Hilling Julie Hilling Labour, Bolton West 11:30 am, 14th December 2011

What steps he is taking to support the voluntary sector.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

We are supporting the sector through this difficult time by cutting red tape, investing in transition funds for infrastructure and front-line organisations, creating significant new opportunities for the sector to deliver public services, and supporting new initiatives to encourage giving and social investment.

Photo of Julie Hilling Julie Hilling Labour, Bolton West

The Roots project in Westhoughton in my constituency has been praised by the Government as a beacon of the big society, but Liz Douglas, the founder, has had no wages for six months. Words are no good. When will the Minister take action to support the voluntary and community sector?

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The hon. Lady knows that we have taken a great deal of action, not least by putting in place a £107 million transition fund to help the most vulnerable organisations. If she is talking about cuts being made locally by Bolton council, she will know that the reduction in its spending this year was only 7%. The questions that she has to ask Bolton council are: “Why were you so badly prepared for this situation?” and: “Why did you block a proposal from Conservative councillors to create a fund to support local voluntary organisations?”