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Levelling up our Communities: Government Response to Danny Kruger MP’s Report

Volume 708: debated on Wednesday 2 February 2022

I wish to inform the House that the Government have today published their response to the report by my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Danny Kruger) on levelling up our communities. This response is published alongside the levelling up White Paper, which sets out the Government’s wider approach to levelling up.

The pandemic has shown the significant power of charities, social enterprises, community groups and volunteers in supporting people in their local communities, complementing the delivery of public services, and demonstrating the values of generosity, public spirit and neighbourliness. My hon. Friend’s report contains recommendations to the Government on how to sustain the community response to covid-19, and how to enable civil society’s contributions to levelling up.

The Government would like to thank my hon. Friend for his dedicated work on this issue, and welcome his well-considered and detailed report. We would also like to thank the volunteers, charities, social enterprises and community groups involved in the consultation process.

Our response has been carefully considered and outlines the Government’s position against each of my hon. Friend’s 20 recommendations. Work is already underway to implement many of the report’s recommendations, including the launch of the faith new deal pilot fund and the volunteering futures fund.

The response includes the Government’s commitments to:

Strengthen engagement between faith groups, national and local government through the £1 million faith new deal pilot fund;

Reduce barriers to community organisation and volunteering, including through the £7 million volunteering futures fund;

Promote community ownership and strengthen local institutions through the £150 million community ownership fund;

Strengthen social value commissioning within the public sector as set out in the national procurement policy statement in June 2021; and

Testing the community covenants model to ensure that communities have a greater say in decisions important to their local area, including how local services are delivered.

A copy of the Government response to my hon. Friend’s report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.