National Citizen Service Bill [Lords]

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:34 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst Conservative, Saffron Walden 4:34 pm, 16th January 2017

My hon. Friend’s rather lengthy contribution has extended my speech. I absolutely applaud what she says, and I am grateful for her support for the remarks that I have just made.

The Local Government Association has expressed some concern about the idea that the money that will go into the NCS is money that the LGA will not get, or that the LGA might lose some money in the process. I do not think that any of us wants to decry what many local authorities, to their credit, do in providing youth services, and I have always been an advocate for such work. The NCS is a special organisation that in no way negates what local authorities do. We might actually find that more people want to take part in the various other youth services, thus extending the reach of those bodies.

My hon. Friend Sir Julian Brazier raised the issue of safety, and of course that is important, but I hope that he did not overdo it. I thought about some of the schemes I have seen, where even the use of a fork in the earth to tidy up a community garden could cause an injury, or where someone on a street corner bravely advertising the fact that they are operating a car wash some little distance away could be knocked down in an accident. All sorts of horrors could befall people in the more ordinary things, not just in the high adventure activities. It is, of course, quite right that we should not assume that anything goes or allow people to be put at risk.