I am delighted that Wycombe Youth Action was successful in its application to the Transition Fund, which acts as a Big Society funding mechanism. The project received £93,000 to help young people from the ages of 13 to 25 in more positive activities that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do.

The Transition Fund was announced last year as part of the Spending Review. So far it has committed £17 million for 201 charities; however there is £90million still available which will be announced from April 2011 onwards.

I would urge other civil society organisations in Wycombe who need additional funding to visit the website www.fundingcentral.org.uk for further information.

As Paul Burstow, Care Services Minister, has said:

Central Government can’t do everything people want in their communities – local people are better placed than officials or Ministers in Whitehall to know what their communities need. This is about a new relationship between the state and citizens, where citizens hold more power than ever before.

The Government is also setting up a Big Society Bank which will provide capital for the voluntary sector.

These are just the first steps to rekindle that mutual co-operation between individuals which typified British society. After the continued encroachment of the State over the past 100 years, we have seen a steady erosion of civil society. This is why we must reclaim local provisions and decision making.  In the long term, we need to de-politicise charitable funding but, in the meantime, the Government is seeking to drive a transition towards social responsibility, not state control. We should make the most of it.

I congratulate Wycombe Youth Action on their achievements and I wish them well with their extra funding.

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