Charities urged to submit evidence to new Lords committee on civic engagement

04 Aug 2017 News

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

Lord Hodgson has been appointed to chair a House of Lords committee on civic engagement, with NCVO urging charities to come forward and tell peers about their involvement in communities. 

The Lords select committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement was established earlier this summer and will report by the end of March 2018.

The Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts is a former president of NCVO who has previously led reports about charities. 

Other members are:  
Baroness Barker, Liberal Democrat
Lord Blunkett, Labour
Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Crossbench
Baroness Lister of Burtersett, Labour
Baroness Morris of Yardley, Labour
Baroness Newlove, Conservative
Baroness Pitkeathley, Labour
Baroness Redfern, Conservative
Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Crossbench
Baroness Stedman-Scott, Conservative
Lord Verjee, Liberal Democrat

The committee published a call for evidence last week and organisations have until 7 September to make written submissions. 

Hodgson said: “British Society has experienced many changes in recent years and this has put new stresses and strains upon it. Citizenship and civic engagement are a vital part of the'glue' that maintains a cohesive and tolerant society.

"This Committee has been established to investigate citizenship in the UK, what it means and whether it should change. We also want to find out if there are barriers preventing people from being more involved, both locally and nationally. 

“We hope to hear from people all over the country who have an interest in this topic, who work with communities who are disengaged, as well as from people who are disengaged themselves.” 

‘Important opportunity for charities’ 

NCVO said the committee represents an opportunity for charities to show politicians what they do. 

Chris Walker, senior public affairs analyst at NCVO, said: ““This a very important opportunity for charities to demonstrate how our sector is leading the way in civic engagement. Charities are often the vehicle for people to engage with society.

"We are keen for as many organisations as possible, no matter how small, to submit examples of the sort of work they do to foster this 

“Given the subject, the committee wants to encourage those who wouldn’t normally speak out. If you have a good case study that you can contribute, but haven’t provided written evidence to a committee before, it might be worth contacting the committee staff and talking to them about how you can provide what they need."

NCVO has said it intends to submit evidence about volunteering and the role of charities in democratic engagement, and will address questions around social cohesion. 

The umbrella body has also offered to support charities wanting to submit evidence and Walker has written a blog on NCVO's website outlining the process


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