Lords to criticise 'inadequate' government approach to communities

10 Apr 2018 News

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

A House of Lords select committee will publish a report next week criticising the government’s approach to communities and civic engagement.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement, chaired by Lord Hodgson, held a call for evidence last year.

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

The Committee has now announced that its report published on 18 April will “seek to undo some of the damage that has been done by the Government’s apparent abandonment of citizenship policy in the UK”.

The report will criticise the government’s recently published Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, which the Committee said is “an inadequate attempt to address the issues faced, and is yet another consultation document in the place of much-needed action”.

Paid volunteering leave

Giving evidence to the Committee last year, chief executive of the Scout Association, Matt Hyde, has said that the biggest problem his organisation faces is recruiting enough adults and urged the government to revisit a policy to introduce three days of paid leave for volunteering.

He said: “We need about 14,000 to 15,000 more adult volunteers just to clear our waiting list. We know that for that to happen we need for us to produce messages around flexible volunteering, so that has worked well.

“And we need employers to work with us, and there are some fantastic employers who understand that as well as promoting wellbeing it is about volunteering.” He added:

“And I hope we don’t lose sight of the three days of volunteering that was promoted in the previous Conservative manifesto as I think that was a good thing.”

The promise to bring in three days of paid volunteering leave was included in the Conservative Party’s 2015 manifesto, when the party won a majority in Parliament, but not in its 2017 manifesto.

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