Big Society summit

THE Government chief for the Big Society will visit Suffolk to answer tough questions on the controversial policy, it was announced last night.

Nicholas Hurd MP, the minister for civil society, will meet David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, in a visit to the county in June.

As well as charities and local bodies, Mr Hurd will take questions from Tim Yeo, MP for Suffolk South, and Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk.

Mr Ruffley, who secured the summit, said: “The Big Society is a big idea but I am very concerned about how the Government will implement this on the ground in Suffolk.

“That is why I have asked questions in the House of Commons and made a point of getting the minister to speak to people at the grass roots.”

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The crunch meeting follows on from a summit involving 12 leading chief executives of voluntary organisations and charities at the Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, organised by Mr Ruffley, last autumn.

At the event on June 30, Mr Hurd will be asked to explain how the Government’s national policy will apply in the county.

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A key talking point will be how Suffolk County Council’s grant cuts will impact on the local voluntary sector.

“This is a significant coup and I am delighted that my colleagues Tim Yeo and Matthew Hancock will also be attending the meeting that I will personally chair,” Mr Ruffley said.

“Other Suffolk MPs have expressed a desire to attend as well.

“This will be an important opportunity for us to stop the talking and get some action on growing the voluntary and charitable sector in the county of Suffolk.”

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