March 12, 2010 12:30 PM

Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central MP and Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, has today welcomed the announcement by the Department for Energy and Climate Change that they are to appoint a Third Sector champion, but warned that the position must be given a real say in decision making.

DECC made the announcement in response to a report by the Joint Ministerial and Third Sector Task Force, which recommended creating the new role to involve charities and other Third Sector organisations in creating and delivering the Government's policies to tackle climate change.

Ms Willott said that the decision is to be welcomed but that the position has to have proper influence over decisions made by DECC and not simply be tacked-on to the department's current organisation.

Ms Willott said:

"This announcement is certainly a step in the right direction. The Third Sector is well placed to be an important part of the fight against climate change and the fact that DECC has finally recognised this should be celebrated.

"However, it is vital that this position is used to make a real impact. I would like reform to the way Government contracts are put out for tender in order to ensure that they are not so large and inflexible that the Third Sector is unable to compete with the private sector.

"The role also needs to ensure that every decision made by DECC takes into account the Third Sector and encourage DECC to work closely with the sector to deliver the best possible results.

"A strong voice for the Third Sector will be of great benefit to both DECC and tackling climate change and I very much hope other Government departments will take up this idea in the near future."

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