PM Policy Unit response to recent CPF consultations in May 2022

We are pleased to share with you the following formal response from Andrew Griffiths MP, Director of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, to our consultations on Planning & Housing and Strengthening Families & Communities, completed in January and March 2022, respectively.

The letter is issued to Dr John Hayward who is the CPF Manager in CCHQ. More details can be read below:

CPF consultation on Families & Communities

Thank you very much for your letter and the summary of member views on improving families and communities policy. As ever, it is incredibly helpful to hear from members.

I was struck by the consistent theme in the responses recognising the need for stable relationships. Stable relationships are the glue that holds society together. The government recently announced a £1bn package of support to nurture stable relationships, including £700m to extend the Supporting Families programme and over £300m to deliver a national network of Family Hubs, building on our manifesto commitments. These programmes embody our Conservative approach to supporting families. The Supporting Families programme provides practical hands-on assistance to families at risk of breakdown, such as parenting courses. 75 Family Hubs will be opened by 2024, offering young parents dedicated support with feeding, weaning and keeping their baby safe. I am delighted that my colleague, The Rt Hon Dame Andrea Leadsom MP continues to advise the government, driving forward this agenda.

I noted too the consistent theme of self-reliance. One of the respondents observed, quite correctly in my view, that “more should be done to provide, not benefits, but tools for families to help themselves.” This is the essence of the government’s approach to the family. Taking childcare as an example, the government boasts a number of schemes, including the free 30 hours for 3- and 4-year-olds, tax-free childcare and the childcare element of Universal Credit – amounting to around £5bn of support for working parents. The level of generosity is considerable. Government must focus on ensuring these schemes are delivered well – with sufficient flexibility to meet the demands of modern family life.

Finally, I wanted to acknowledge the frustration noted by some of your respondents who feel the “role of a parent is marginalised in education.” As a free school founder myself, this is an issue that I am passionate about. The recent Schools White Paper put a ‘Parent Pledge’ at the heart of the next chapter of school reform. Parents will now have to be involved and informed of additional support being given to their child if they fall behind at school. This should provoke a step-change in the involvement of parents in education – with the Parent Pledge the first step in putting parent voices back at the heart of their child’s education.

I have not had an opportunity in this short note to respond to all of the thought-provoking themes emerging from the consultation, but I would like to reiterate my thanks for these responses. They directly inform the work we do in No10 and across Whitehall, so I am grateful to you and the members who took the time to engage.

Kind regards,

Andrew Griffith MP

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