Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 8 August 2021
A BARWELL-BASED Liberal Democrat campaigner has attended two virtual meetings which were hosted by Parliamentary groups looking at particular topics.
Barwell Parish Councillor, Mathew Hulbert (Lib Dem, Redhall), spoke to an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) about Charities and the Voluntary Sector, as well as Local Democracy.
APPGs are informal cross-party groups that are run by and for Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The first of the two APPG meetings that Cllr. Hulbert attended was chaired by Lord Hodgson of Astley and Abbotts.
It looked at a report on race and the charity sector and was titled ‘Home Truths’, one year on from its publication.
Coun. Hulbert is a long-standing charity Trustee with a ‘great interest’ in the Third Sector.
He said: “Charities have a big job of work to do on the racial equality agenda, ensuring they live up to internally the standards they espouse and expect of others externally.
“At the meeting I raised what impact negative comments successive Charity Ministers have made, such as ‘charities should go home and do the knitting’, have on the morale of charity leaders and their staff and if this impacts on their ability to make much needed changes to how they work.”
He later attended another APPG-hosted event – a virtual roundtable discussing Local Democracy, which specifically looked at the role of parish and town councils in the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.
The meeting was chaired by Cherilyn Mackrory MP – it heard from parish and town councillors from across the country.
Speaking about the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, Mr. Hulbert stressed that ‘levelling up needs to be more than just a slogan’.
He said: “Levelling up needs to be more than just a slogan. Local Councils need to be empowered.
“We know where the needs are in our communities and working with residents and partners, where public money needs to be spent to reduce inequality and ensure that the levelling up agenda is meaningful and has real-world outcomes for those we’re elected to serve.”
He further added: “It’s vital the voices of local communities are heard in Parliament and APPG meetings are an important way of ensuring that happens.
“I look forward to future engagement with these and other APPGs in their important work.”