Party leader

Prime Minister Tony Blair talks to Barbara Lowndes, honorary secretary of the Tameside Association of Community Organisations, at a reception at 10 Downing Street last Thursday. One hundred people from voluntary and community organisations were invited to celebrate the work of the not-for-profit sector. Voluntary sector minister Fiona Mactaggart and Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, also attended.

In a speech at the event Blair said that government and voluntary organisations must work as partners but emphasised that the sector must retain its independence and ability to provide innovative services and work closely with users.

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