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Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the Prime Minister’s speech at Britain’s Everyday Heroes Book Launch of 24 July 2007, what steps she has taken to reform the honours system to recognise more widely citizens’ contributions to civic society since July 2007. (318355)

Following his speech on 24 July 2007, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to all Cabinet colleagues asking them to do more to emphasise, when considering candidates for honours, the role played by volunteers and others who serve the community. The Cabinet Secretary, as Chair of the Main Honours Committee, wrote to the Chairs of the eight Independent Honours Selection Committees repeating this strategic guidance. Government Departments and all those involved in the honours process are reminded of this guidance on a regular basis. In the New Year’s Honours List 2010, 73 per cent. of all awards went to people working in the community.