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Bob Blackman

This week I learned that Ashiana, a charitable voluntary organisation in my constituency, is having its grant completely withdrawn. Harrow Carers’ grant is also being slashed by 30%, and every other voluntary organisation is being decimated by the Labour-run council. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has gone on record suggesting that he will take reserve powers to force councils to release money to voluntary organisations. May we have an urgent statement on what powers he is taking to protect such voluntary organisations from Labour-run councils?

— from debate entitled “Business of the House

The three speeches/headings immediately before

  1. 1 earlier: George Young

    The hon. Lady is entitled to an answer to her written parliamentary question, and I will pursue that today with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education to see whether she can get a response to her question early next week.

  2. 2 earlier: Emma Reynolds

    On 7 February, the Department for Education refused to put up a Minister on the “Today” programme to discuss capital expenditure on free schools. On the same day, I submitted a written question to the Department for Education asking how much it would allocate to capital expenditure on free schools. The reply I received on 10 February stated:

    “I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.”

    Is the Department for Education trying to hide something? When will we get clarity on this important issue and whether it will have an impact on the Building Schools for the Future programme? May we have an urgent statement on the matter?

  3. 3 earlier: George Young

    My hon. Friend raises an important point. He may have seen our response, in a written ministerial statement out today, to the Wolf review of vocational education, and we will immediately accept four recommendations of that key report. I would welcome a debate, and he might like to approach the Backbench Business Committee for a debate on vocational education or apply for a debate in Westminster Hall.

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