Martin Whitfield MP has welcomed the publication of the Labour Party’s new Civil Society strategy, which would ensure a new Labour government would embed civil society in government policy development and services.

Developed and launched by Shadow Civil Society Minister, Steve Reed MP,  the strategy, From Paternalism to Participation, forms part of the party’s plans to extend participation and give people more power over the decisions that affect them and their communities.

It includes commitments to repeal the Lobbying Act and allow charities to campaign, ban gagging clauses in Government contracts, introduce a new Public Right to Space where communities can run activities, use digital platforms to enable more citizen and civil society engagement, and provide more support in funding and resources for local community-led organisations.

The response from the third sector has been generally positive with a statement from the Charity Finance Group stating that Labour’s civil society strategy “offers a positive vision with many things to be hopeful about”.

Martin Whitfield MP said: 

“I welcome this comprehensive strategy which represents a fresh approach for Labour policy on civil society and the third sector. It sets out a bold vision for making civil society central to plans to introduce more direct democracy in communities and to how government policy is developed.

“I commend my colleague Steve Reed for an excellent piece of work and for the way he engaged with the sector in developing the strategy.”

The Civil Society strategy can be downloaded here.