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Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, has accused the Tory-led Government of making empty promises to charities and voluntary groups

 after it was revealed there are no plans to use the Localism Bill to stop ‘disproportionate’ cuts hitting charities – despite suggestions from the Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles only days ago that he was considering using the Bill to change the law. 

Last week, Mr. Pickles told charities at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations that he was prepared to take ‘immediate steps’ to introduce legislation to stop what he called ‘disproportionate’ cuts, suggesting that provisions would be inserted into the Localism Bill currently going through Parliament. 

However, Greg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation, has confirmed in a letter to Labour’s Shadow Local Government Minister Barbara Keeley, that “an amendment in the Localism Bill – given Royal Assent is obviously some months away – is not the best vehicle to address the concerns that some voluntary groups are expressing with some councils.” 

Caroline Flint MP, said: 

“Eric Pickles and the Tory-led Government have been caught out making empty promises to charities and voluntary groups. 

“It shows that the Tory-led Government will do or say anything to try to cover up the damage their reckless frontloaded cuts to council budgets are doing to voluntary groups and charities up and down the country.” 

Barbara Keeley MP, Labour's Shadow Local Government Minister, said: 

“Labour warned last week that Eric Pickles was using empty rhetoric and only a few days later it has emerged ministers have no intention of using the Localism Bill to change the law." 

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