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Debate on the role of churches in society

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Recently, my colleague Fiona Bruce MP held a backbench debate on the contribution of faith organisations to the voluntary sector. Fiona opened as follows: Christians possess a rich heritage of social reform and charitable care which is alive today. In the 19th century, William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury led campaigns for the abolition of slavery and child labour. Others, such as Barnardo and William and Catherine Booth, were involved in founding charitable organisations, covering every conceivable form of human need, as […]

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The tragedy of Labour’s attacks on the Big Society

Yesterday at Cabinet Office Questions, first up was a Labour attack on the Big Society. It can found here . I asked a supplementary: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Our country once enjoyed a rich and vibrant tapestry of organisations between charity and the state, such as co-operatives, friendly societies and other mutuals. Does the Minister share my dismay that the left has abandoned its own traditions? Mr Hurd: Those are not of course the only traditions that the left has […]

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The Government vs the State

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ConservativeHome reports that the Government (the ministers) are scaling up their battle against the civil service: Outside of Manchester, the most significant political speech of the day is being delivered by Francis Maude to the Institute for Government. Indeed, it could actually be more significant than “the most personal speech ever given by a British political leader,” too. For Mr Maude’s subject is the structural relationship between government and the civil service, and how it should be altered. His words will […]

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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

A group of young music artists have released a track aimed at dissuading young people in Wycombe from joining gangs. DJ LoMotes and record producer Phoenix Keyz have collaborated with Styler, Sicx, Dimples and Treasure. Already with over 14,000 views on Youtube, ‘An Eye for an Eye’ is becoming an internet hit. Filmed in Wycombe town centre and around local gang hot-spots, the track dispels the myths of glamour and respect surrounding gang-culture through frank and open lyrics targeted at […]

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The Launch of Big Society Capital

The Government has recently launched Big Society Capital to help finance social action in the UK. It will start with a fund of up to £600m that includes £400m from dormant bank accounts (about which I have reservations but that’s past) and up to £200m from the four main UK high street banks. If you run a charity or social enterprise in the Wycombe constituency, if you are interested in attracting long term finance for your organisation and if you […]

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Silver surfer session at Hazlemere Library – Thursday, 2pm

This Thursday at 2pm, Age UK is organising an open event to help older people get online and access the internet at Hazlemere Library. The class will give people the chance to practice and hone their use of the internet even if they are a complete beginner. They will learn how to keep in touch with friends and family at home and abroad via email and social media. No need to book, just turn up. As well as encouraging internet […]

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Wycombe Hospital consultation meetings

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A crucial public consultation on the future of Wycombe Hospital began on 16 January. It is being run by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Wycombe Hospital. This is our chance to have our say on proposals to change how NHS services are provided in High Wycombe. The exercise runs until 16 April and there are consultation meetings scheduled throughout the area every week in February. I urge everyone who cares about the future of our hospital to take part. Click here for an explanation of the […]

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Buckinghamshire Community Foundation Winter Fuel Payment initiative

Over the Christmas period, the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation restarted their annual Winter Fuel Payment initiative, through which better off pensioners can donate those payments to people in need. Their initiative has raised nearly £14,000, which is nearly twice as much as last year. I am delighted that the people of Bucks have made this possible. Amongst other initiatives, the Foundation is looking at new funding schemes with local businesses, such as the Midcounties Co-operative, and they are also working with local projects […]

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DFID – Global Poverty Action Fund

The Government’s aid policy is controversial but those local charities and charitable institutions who seek to help those in need overseas may wish to take advantage of DFID’s  Global Poverty Action Fund: The Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF) was launched on 27 October 2010. It is a demand-led fund supporting projects focused on poverty reduction and pursuit of the MDGs through tangible changes to poor people’s lives including through: service delivery, empowerment and accountability and work on conflict, security and […]

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Wycombe Youth Action awarded £93,000

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 […]

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