§ Mr. Byers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what reductions he intends to make in the allocation of funding to the Children's Fund; what consultation has taken place with the key stakeholders; what estimate has been made of the impact of funding reductions on individual programmes; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Margaret Hodge
[holding answer 12 February 2004]: Allocations to Children's Fund partnerships were originally planned to reduce by £24.6 million in 2004–05, from £164.6 million to £140 million. However, following representations from affected projects I have been able to identify additional resources outside the programme which means that a total of £160 million plus a contingency amount of £6 million will be available to partnerships in 2004–05.
I have consulted key stakeholders through the Children's Fund Advisory Forum which is made up of the main voluntary sector organisations involved in the Fund, the LGA and the ADSS. The Department is 468W assessing the impact of its decisions directly with partnerships through both the Advisory Forum and its regional teams. Final decisions on 2005–06 will not be taken until I know the outcome of the 2004 Spending Review.