THIS week the Conservative leader, David Cameron announced proposals to help boost the work of charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across Harrow.
A series of practical policies seeks to strengthen the voluntary sector, cut unnecessary red tape and get more people involved in local charities and community groups.
The Conservative policy proposals include: [
simplifying the Gift Aid system to reduce the bureaucratic burden on charities and promote more charitable giving;
replacing the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) with a Voluntary Action Lottery Fund; the BLF has attracted criticism for giving grants to controversial causes and spending money on government services rather than funding voluntary good causes;
creating a network of social enterprise zones to boost social investment in deprived communities;
cutting unnecessary red tape and-form-filling;
establishing a one-stop fundingportal for significant government grants to help voluntary groups through the confusing 'jungle' of different state grants;
enabling the voluntary sector to compete on an equal footing with the private sector to provide services;
promoting co-operatives, to allow local communities to run, and own, community assets and set up new government-funded schools.
I welcome these new proposals to help boost local charities and community groups across Harrow, by cutting red tape, encouraging more charitable giving and helping social enterprise to provide local services.
The social challenges we face today are every bit as serious as the economic challenges Britain faced in 1979. The big dividing line in British politics today is about the role of the state. Gordon Brown believes in top-down state control; Conservatives believe in bottom-up social responsibility.
DR RACHEL JOYCE
Prospective parliamentary candidate Harrow West Conservatives