§ Mr. Ainger
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much funding in each of the last five years and for the next financial year has been allocated by the Rural Development Commission to the voluntary sector for assisting rural communities; and if he will list those organisations and how much each received.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 29 March 1994]: The table shows the financial support which the Rural Development Commission has given in this period to the voluntary sector either through support for voluntary organisations themselves or through projects run by the voluntary sector. These include national organisations such as Help the Aged, Good Practice in Mental Health, National Youth 919W Agency, Rural Housing Trust. In addition, many grants are made to voluntary and community organisations as part of rural development programmes in the commission's
Rural Development Commission Allocation of funding to the voluntary sector assisting rural communities 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 Actual Actual Actual Actual To date Estimate Total £ £ £ £ £ £ £ Support for voluntary organisations National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) 80,000 84,000 89,000 116,000 92,332 121,590 582,960 Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) 73,000 43,313 85,652 60,000 61,300 70,000 393,265 National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) — 27,000 — 8,242 — 18,250 53,492 Rural Community Councils (RCCs) 2,181,000 2,371,177 2,493,607 2,778,169 2,818,000 2,818,000 15,459,953 Project support National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) 75,000 75,000 — 70,186 — — 220,186 Rural Social Partnership Fund (RSPF) 25,031 182,043 264,098 184,685 169,931 327,000 1,152,788 Housing 432,000 387,867 312,799 277,689 307,504 340,639 2,058,498 Rural Action — — — 196,672 265,367 400,000 862,039 Village Halls — — — 146,169 297,279 350,000 793,448 RDP Social Projects1 n/a n/a n/a 1,966,632 2,383,000 2,450,000 6,799,632 Total 2,866,031 3,170,400 3,245,156 5,804,482 6,394,713 6,895,479 28,376,261 1 The majority of grants under this head are for projects to the voluntary sector.
§ Mr. Ainger
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what policies the Rural Development Commission has for the voluntary sector to be a vehicle for assisting rural communities.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 29 March 1994]: The Rural Development Commission regards voluntary activity and community self-help as an important means of tackling economic and social problems in rural areas, especially those relating to services, such as transport or village shops, and to the disadvantage experienced by particular groups of people, for example, the elderly, which is heightened by their living in a rural area. Nationally, the commission seeks to strengthen the rural work of the voluntary sector by supporting the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Action with Communities in Rural England in their roles as national umbrella organisations as well as working in partnership with national voluntary organisations such as Help the Aged or the Rural Housing Trust on specific projects or issues. Countrywide, it supports both the work of rural community councils which provide support to voluntary organisations in each county as well as a wide range of local projects put forward by voluntary and community groups principally as part of rural development programmes in the commission's priority areas.
§ Mr. Ainger
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what procedures are used by board members and officials of the Rural Development Commission to inform themselves of the needs of rural areas nationally and locally.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 29 March 1994]: The Rural Development Commission uses a range of means to
Assisted places scheme 1993–94 School Number on roll January 1994 Total number APS pupils in scheme September 1993 Percentage APS: NOR Monmouth Boys 544 137 25.1 Penrhos College, Colwyn Bay 332 61 18.3 Howell's, Cardiff 689 165 23.9 Rydal School, Colwyn Bay 330 46 13.9
priority areas. Detailed information on the sums and organisations involved could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
inform itself about the needs of rural areas nationally and locally. It draws on published research and data from a wide variety of sources and where necessary commissions its own research or surveys to fill gaps in knowledge or data. It also liaises with a broad range of organisations involved in economic and social development, including local authorities, training and enterprise councils, rural community councils, ACRE and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. In its priority areas the commission works in partnership with the rural development programme committees, which assess the economic and social needs of the areas concerned and develop a programme of action to tackle the problems identified. All these partnerships provide a valuable source of information on the needs of rural areas.
The commission also funds some demonstration projects designed to improve information on rural needs and issues, and test out solutions to rural problems.