Booklet 'points to Lottery Fund bias'

The Big Lottery Fund's new round of programmes for 2006-2009 could favour local charities at the expense of national organisations.

The warning was made by Luke FitzHerbert, senior researcher at the Directory of Social Change, at a conference held by the organisation last week.

He was referring to the new BLF booklet outlining its forthcoming programmes, which he said showed a bias towards local community groups. He expressed concern that the programmes could be used to fill gaps in government spending on health and training.

However, FitzHerbert defended the BLF against a Commons public accounts committee report that £2.4bn of lottery money is sitting idly in the bank.

"Absolute nonsense," he said. "All of that money has already been committed."

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