§ Ms Hodge
[holding answer 28 February 2001]: My Department has no specific mandate to set up training and financial support structures for voluntary organisations. It is the Home Office Advice Communities Unit that has overall responsibility within Government for the voluntary sector. However, the voluntary sector is essential to the achievement of our objectives and we have put in place a number of arrangements for improvement the way we work with voluntary organisations and to help them improve the quality of their work.
We already provide support and technical assistance to providers working on particular initiatives such as Surestart, Millennium Volunteers and the New Deal Innovation Fund. We have established a short-term Voluntary Sector Support Unit within the Department to enhance the relationship with the sector, and we are introducing a national Funding Formula through the Employment Service and the Learning and Skills Council with effect from April this year.
1993–94 School name Project description Allocation (£) Belmont Primary Remedial works after flooding 43,598 Re-roofing work 7,000 Chellaston Secondary New technology extension and internal refurbishment 550,569 Merrill College Repairs to pipework 924 Heating system repairs 10,129 Heating system repairs 6,221 Health and Safety work and fire prevention measures 84,205 John Port Heating repairs 71,904 Roof repairs and Health and Safety work 31,286 Noel-Baker Roof repairs 102,875 Roof repairs 44,633 The Pingle Security measures 63,585
1994–95 School name Project description Allocation (£) Belmont Primary Boiler repairs 4,824 Replacement classrooms 256,559 Linton Primary New hall and changing rooms 210,830 Chellaston Secondary New sixth form 1,139,747 Replacement of outfall drains 12,163 Merrill College Repairs to electrical services following water leak 8,534 Repair to gas pipes following gas leak 14,688 Re-roofing works 5,498 Sewer repairs 5,698 Essential roof repairs and securing of windows 120,792 John Port Re-roofing works 77,079 Foul drainage works 34,251 Four new science labs accommodation and prep rooms 510,034 Noel-Baker Re-roofing works 78,317 Upgrade fabric of block 129,787 The Pingle Extension and roof repairs to technology block 295,093
With the establishment of Learning and Skills Council, we are introducing a Common Inspection Framework, a system of approved providers, longer-term contracts and "joined-up" purchasing arrangements.
We have recently commenced work on developing a new framework for our relationships with providers which will harmonise best practice around the Department and its associated bodies. A consultation exercise on the basis for this framework will be carried out in the spring.