Three hours passed in the House of Lords yesterday without a single party political point made by any of the 21 speakers taking part in the discussion. The occasion for this unusual occurrence was my debate on the contribution made to society by the voluntary and charitable sector, held as one of three Liberal Democrat sponsored debates taking place yesterday.
Charitable giving from the public has held up remarkably well despite the long recession, although we should all be concerned that what my colleague Baroness Claire Tyler calls “the civic core” is ageing and shrinking. Public sector money has seen a steady decrease as budgets have tightened, whilst demand has increased, leaving the voluntary sector with the challenge of how to do more with less.
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