Tory MP says councils should transfer services to voluntary sector, not cut them

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, tells Conservative conference event that civil servants and local authority officers should be trained to help them do this

Penny Mordaunt MP
Penny Mordaunt MP

Training should be offered to civil servants and local authority officers to help them transfer services to the voluntary sector rather than cut them altogether, delegates at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester heard yesterday.

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, told an event hosted by the Charities Aid Foundation that if a service was cut, workers in councils or NHS trusts did not often think to look for alternative ways to deliver that service outside their own budgets.

"They should learn that they don't have to stop the programme of activities," she said. "They can pull levers to get other funding to continue those activities.

"There should be a framework to help that happen."

She said pots of government money were available to support the transfer of services to community organisations, but local government often did not know it was there or was reluctant to access it.

"There are three significant community asset transfers going on in my area," she said. "But there has been no application for asset transfer funding."

A £16m fund to support asset transfer is provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government through the Social Investment Business.

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