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Third Sector Organisations

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 6 December 2006

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office is today, following the Chancellor's Pre-Budget Statement, publishing Partnership in Public Services: an Action Plan for Third Sector Involvement.

Third sector organisations play a number of roles in public life, from campaigning, building community cohesion and delivering services to giving voice to their users. They have an enormous amount to contribute to our public services, both in the ways those services are designed and delivered, and in the ways they are improved and held to account.

The greater involvement of the third sector in delivery must not be about the Government abdicating their responsibility to fund public services. Instead, it is about ensuring that, in the right circumstances, the sector can deliver services where it is best placed to do so. Many third sector organisations are already working very successfully with the public sector and there are significant areas of public service delivery where the Government are opening opportunities for the third sector. It is clear that we will not tackle the challenges of the coming years and continue to build the excellent public services to which we all aspire without the close involvement of the third sector.

Copies of the action plan will be placed in the Library for the reference of noble Lords and will be available in the Printed Paper Office. The action plan will also be available on the Cabinet Office website at www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/thirdsector.