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Civil Society Select Committee

Volume 534: debated on Thursday 3 November 2011

8. What plans he has to bring forward proposals for a Select Committee on Civil Society; and what representations he has received on the remit of any such committee. (78813)

In light of the recommendations of the Wright Committee that the House should reduce the number of Committees and end overlapping or duplicate remits, we have no plans to do so.

It is very interesting that the Cabinet Office website, which announced with great passion that that Committee would be provided, does not record the withdrawal of that offer. Why has the Government’s decision been reversed, and why is it being kept secret?

The establishment of Committees is a decision for the House, not the Government, as the right hon. Gentleman will be aware. The Cabinet Office is scrutinised by the Public Administration Committee, which is currently undertaking an inquiry into civil society entitled “Smaller Government: Bigger Society?” I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) and his Committee for their work on that matter and on other issues that are important to the Government. The matter is being looked at by a parliamentary Select Committee.