Third sector minister will push for local authorities to fund volunteer centres

Angela Smith promises Volunteering England she will bring the matter up with the Communities and Local Government department

Angela Smith, the Minister for the Third Sector, will ask Barbara Follett, the minister for Communities and Local Government, to encourage local authorities to fund volunteer centres.

On Tuesday, at a meeting with Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, Smith said she would raise the organisation's concerns about volunteer centre funding with the Communities and Local Government department.

She also said she would try to set up a meeting between the department and Volunteering England and would consider writing a foreword for a Volunteering England publication encouraging local authorities to fund volunteer centres.

At the Labour Party conference in Brighton in September, Smith said that volunteer centres should not expect new money from the Office of the Third Sector.

Speaking after the meeting, Davis Smith said: "Volunteering England has long been campaigning for central government to recognise the key role played by volunteer centres and to help secure their long-term financial sustainability.

"So we are pleased that the minister has restated her belief in the importance of volunteer centres and has agreed to work with us to help spread the message to local government."

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