Skip to main content

Voluntary Sector

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

20. If he will make a statement on the role of voluntary sector organisations in the delivery of public services. (159748)

Voluntary organisations have an important role to play in the design, development and delivery of public services. That is why in areas such as child care provision, recycling and employment services we are promoting the sector’s role. Third sector delivery will not be used by this Government as a cut-price alternative to properly funded public services.

While the Minister’s words are fine, in practice very little is happening. Does he understand why the voluntary sector is so disappointed that it is not being included more in delivery in the public sector?

I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman, because lots is happening. If one looks around the country at the different services provided by the voluntary sector, from recycling to pathways to work, the offender management service to child care provision, one sees that in a whole host of different areas the third sector is increasingly playing a role in public services. There is further to go and we want to encourage it.

Before I call the statement, may I say that a practice has come in that hon. Members are reading supplementary questions? I am not going to single out any hon. Member, but they should hear what the Minister has to say and respond accordingly. Questions should not be prepared beforehand. We are well into this Parliament, and the practice should not continue.