Thursday, 10 March 2011

Pickles stays strangely silent voluntary sector funding

Clive Betts MP and Chair, Select Committee on Communities and Local Government said today that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government had remained strangely silent about his intentions since threatening to introduce legislation to proscribe council funding of the voluntary sector.

Clive Betts said today:

“I wrote to Eric Pickles a week ago after he announced that he was prepared to take immediate steps to legislate to stop "disproportionate" cuts being inflicted on charities.

I told him that I believed Members of Parliament, across all parties, would expect a very early announcement of the details of his intentions if there was not to be chaos in budgetary decisions by councils and to avoid further chaos in the budgetary and service decisions by voluntary organisations throughout England.

I also pointed out the contradictions between Ministerial statements that ‘the worst-run councils are targeting the sector for disproportionate cuts’ when, at the same time, he is specifically naming for praise certain councils – like Sheffield City Council – which are making a 19% real terms cut in grant aid to the voluntary sector.

It’s time for him to come clean.”