» Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cabinet Committees

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) advised that the correct figure for number of Cabinet Committees that the Chancellor chaired, as he had said this morning, was three and not two as had been suggested subsequently. He was also joint chair of the Regulatory Committee. The PMOS apologised for the confusion.

Asked about the Anti-Social Behaviour Committee and the roles of David Miliband and Hazel Blears the PMOS said that the ASB Committee would draw together the issues relating to Respect and the responsibility for the different aspects of that Respect agenda were a clear breakdown along the Department lines. The Home Office was responsible for things like ASBOs, working with the police and the drinks industry. The ODPM was responsible for strengthening communities, dealing with problems such as graffiti and sink estates. Education was responsible for talking to schools, parents about discipline and those sorts of issues and in Health they were responsible for making sure staff were not beaten up and so on. Those aspects still belonged within Departments. What was important, just like the Prime Minister chairing an ad hoc committee on street crime had produced real results, was how bringing together the different strands of Respect would have an impact on the ground. That did not mean each Departments did not have their own distinct areas of responsibility. They did.

Asked what David Miliband’s primary function was in the ODPM the PMOS said, as he had at the time of the reshuffle, his appointment reflected the breadth of the agenda within that department. He was also there to help John Prescott implement the policies in that department across the board.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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