§ 2. Mr. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how much will be given in grants to voluntary organisations by his Department during the current financial year.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Michael Roberts)
About £1.8 million.
§ Mr. Knox
In view of the valuable work which voluntary organisations do in Wales, will my hon. Friend try to maintain the level of grants in real terms for the next few years? Does he agree that it is a cost-effective form of public expenditure.
§ Mr. Roberts
I agree that it is a cost-effective method of expenditure. Our aim is to continue to support voluntary organisations which are grant-aided by the Welsh Office at as high a level as possible, 5 within the limits of available resources. Last year the total paid in grants to voluntary organisations was £1,773,000.
§ Mr. D. E. Thomas
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us what result there has been, if any, from the discussions that he may have had with his right hon. Friend, who met a number of hon. Members on behalf of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin this year to request further funding? Is he aware that funding for that organisation has a bearing not only on social services within Wales but acts in furtherance of a bilingual policy?
§ Mr. Roberts
We all recognise the splendid work done both by Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin and pre-school playgroups. The current year's grant for preschool playgroups is £43,000, and for Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin £95,000.