Lobby briefing: Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherds Bush

Andy Slaughter on funding cuts to voluntary organisations in Hammersmith and Fulham.

What response have you received to your adjournment debate on the funding cuts to voluntary organisations in Hammersmith and Fulham? 

I'm now persona non grata with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which is strange because I led it for nine years. My knowledge of the voluntary organisations that have suffered cuts, such as the Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre (Third Sector, 2 May), dates to that time.

What are your concerns about the law centre?

One of the Conservative councillors made some extraordinary comments about how the council shouldn't fund the centre, which supports other voluntary agencies, because it might challenge the council. I was sued by the law centre many times when I was leader of the council. It was one of the indicators of whether I was doing my job properly or not.

Should councils be able to separate funding decisions from conflicts with legal charities?

The council is showing a complete lack of understanding of how democracy works. What it's effectively saying is that the council must always be right. Things aren't as bad as they were, but there are still cases where councils simply don't do their job. Who is going to highlight problems if not the not-for-profit sector?

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