HC Deb 06 July 1998 vol 315 c408W
34. Lorna Fitzsimons

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement about the effects which the Government's review of the Women's National Commission will have on women. [47506]

Ms Ruddock

A full report of the recommendations of the Government review of the Women's National Commission (WNC) will be published shortly. The Government Review Group attended the WNC plenary meeting on 23 June to discuss their findings. In many areas these coincided with those of the WNC's own review.

Some of the key conclusions that we have agreed with the WNC include the Commission retaining the status of a non-departmental public body funded by Government; the membership being increased by fifty per cent., to seventy five full member organisations; clear targets, objectives and priorities being agreed with Ministers; and regular liaison meetings between the WNC and the Ministers for Women.

Full implementation of the recommendations will result in the WNC becoming a more focused, responsive and influential organisation; better able to represent the views of a broader spectrum of women's organisations, and thereby a greater range of women; and in direct communication with Government.