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Voluntary And Community Organisations

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 17 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that voluntary and community organisations in Scotland receive sufficient funding from the Government's urban programme.

This year voluntary sector projects will account for a substantial proportion of the urban programme. Substantial sums are involved—£2 million capital and £3 million current—but I should be happy to see the voluntary sector benefit still further from the programme.

As the voluntary programme in England receives three times as much in percentage terms of the funds as Scotland, what action does the Minister propose to take to persuade recalcitrant local authorities in Scotland, such as Tayside regional council, to take up the 75 per cent. grants that are available for such purposes?

I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman says about Tayside. I hope he will accept that voluntary sector projects have been taking an increasing proportion of the total. The figures that I have given compare with the provision of £1 million in 1980–81. I recognise the need for greater publicity, and officials of the urban renewal unit are working with the Scottish Community Education Council to produce an explanatory pack for voluntary and community groups. I am sure that that will be helpful.

Is my hon. Friend aware that Levenmouth council of social services has greatly benefited from the substantial contribution under the voluntary initiative scheme? The money has been used in the current year and has made a substantial improvement to the voluntary initiative.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for identifying that project. I stress that man