My responsibilities as Minister for the Cabinet Office are public sector efficiency and reform, civil service issues, the industrial relations strategy in the public sector, Government transparency, civil contingencies, civil society and cyber-security.
Three providers are delivering more than 600 places across Lancashire this year. Those providers are Catch22, The Challenge Network and Fylde Coast YMCA. I strongly encourage young people and their parents in Rossendale and Darwen to find out more about the NCS through its Facebook page or the Cabinet Office’s NCS website.
T2. What progress has been made by the commission into the West Lothian question? Many Opposition Members, and I am sure many Government Members, do not want to see a two-tier system of hon. Members in Westminster. What progress has the Minister made on this matter? Will he assure Members that we will be allowed to make a contribution to the commission? (100953)
Those plans were approved in 2008, when the current Leader of the Opposition was Minister for the Cabinet Office. It is therefore surprising that the shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office chose recently to mount an unprovoked attack on the decision made by his party leader.
T3. Part of my constituency had a bad experience with the Big Lottery Fund, which awarded it £1 million, but then sat on the money for the best part of two years. Will the Minister give better policy direction to that body so that it does not award funding and then sit on it for two years? (100954)
T5. Yesterday, Britain showed itself at its best. The Olympics offer us a chance to repeat such a show to the world. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is disgraceful that strike action has been threatened during such a wonderful opportunity? (100956)
It was distressing that the leader of the Unite trade union made that intemperate threat. I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will take an early opportunity to condemn these bully-boy paymasters, who are threatening, when the eyes of the world are on Britain, to bring the country to a standstill.
We are strongly in favour of using open source software wherever possible. We have established that that can cut the cost of providing digital services massively, while producing better results. On a recent visit to silicon valley, I and a number of colleagues found businesses that were capable of cutting those costs on a massive scale.
A study by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations has found that applications by charities for emergency help were highest in the north-east, because the 20 poorest areas suffered 40 times as much reduction in their funding as the 20 richest. A year ago the Minister of State, Cabinet Office, the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr Letwin), said that the voluntary sector would
“find that there is access to a large amount of revenue”.—[Official Report, 20 October 2010; Vol. 516, c. 936.]
Has he disappeared because he no longer believes that?