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Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles

Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles
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Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles5

Governance | Pauline Carnet | 2 Mar 2015

Charities and other organisations will not be allowed to use Department for Communities and Local Government grants to lobby Parliament, government or political parties, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said last week.

In a statement published on gov.uk, Pickles said that using taxpayers’ funds to lobby government wastes public money and undermines transparency.

DCLG said organisations granted funds are still allowed to use their own funds for lobbying activities, if they are transparent about it.

However Neil Cleeveley, chief executive at local infrastructure body Navca, said that Pickles’ view of charities was unfair.

“I think this side-swipe at charities is uncalled-for and best viewed in the context of the imminent general election,” he said. “Most charities speak up not for themselves but for people who are frequently ignored by politicians.”

First no-lobbying clauses

The Department is the first to introduce a no-lobbying clause in all grant agreements.

Pickles said the move came after a small number of local enterprise partnerships were found to be hiring public affairs consultancies to lobby the government and parliament on their behalf.

He also cited The Sock Doctrine, a report by a free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which said charities often use grants to lobby the government for more money.

Pickles said: “If external groups are lucky enough to receive grants or win contracts with taxpayers’ money, it shouldn’t be spent on lobbying for more taxpayers’ money or more red tape.

“There’s nothing wrong with private organisations using their own money to hire commercial firms for advice, provided it’s done in an open and transparent manner,” he added.

 

John Cresswell-Plant
8 Mar 2015

The Lobbying Act is a hark-back not to Victorian Times but to measures such as The Gagging Acts [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gagging_Acts] and The Six Acts [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Acts] brought in during Georgian Times

Alec Sandison
2 Mar 2015

And there I was thinking we lived in a democracy where free speech was allowed ...

John Cresswell-Plant
9 Mar 2015
Response to [Alec Sandison]

If things remain unchanged, I believe we soon won't have secret ballots

Carl Allen
2 Mar 2015

It is time for this magazine to make public a list of members of Parliament/Ministers making proven, unproven or unsubstantiated allegations of this sort.

James Makepeace
Retired
Private individual
27 Feb 2015

If anyone has a long way to go before achieving "transparency" it is Eric Pickles. This Tory "grand porker" is becoming ever more dictatorial in dishing out rulings across the UK... and expecting, rather like some Stasi Gauleiter in another age to be obeyed without question... even when some of his half baked "policies" are not only made-up on the spur of the moment to suit political ends,. but also actually illegal (as at least one judge has recently ruled).
This phenomenon of excessive Tory power is swiftly becoming a scar on the face of British democracy, making rulings on all manner of things, over-ruling local Government and running brass-faced directly against the weight of public opinion.... when it suits him and his political cronies and sponsors.

If he is allowed to continue unhindered I predict that his actions will gradually become outrageously excessive and, sooner or later, there will have to be a reckoning.
Pickles operates the most outrageous double standards... This week he has stopped a development of 100 houses in Buckinghamshire because they will deface the landscape, and yet a few weeks ago, overturning a unanimous local government planning refusal and running directly contrary to overwhelming local opinion, he waved through an enormous mass waste burning plant, big enough to swallow Gloucester Cathedral whole, in the middle of the rural Severn Vale, directly in front of the Cotswold Scarp AONB. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that the local proponents of this appalling scheme happen to be Tories, nor that the "selected contractors" happen to include a major donor to Tory Party funds.

Double Standards is only one of the sins committed by Pickles and his shady cohorts... We have one precious opportunity to get rid of him and his scheming Tory friends, both at national and local government level, when the ballot boxes next appear.

Labour made a mess of things, UKIP and Lib Dems are inconsequential and nothing more than an option for a protest vote, but the Conservatives have clearly now enjoyed real power for too long.... and the dodgy deals and questionable practises are starting to multiply.

We should vote them out of power while we still can. Our most valuable power is not the ability to bring Labour back in, Milliband himself is a disaster waiting to happen)... it is the very fact that we can vote to choose between these shysters ! We must use that vote, and retain our right in the future to determine when enough is truly enough !

Pickles really is now an embarrassment to the process of UK government ... he must go !

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