THE Minister for Implementation for the Cabinet Office, Oliver Dowden, has pledged to increase the representation of religious groups on public bodies.
Religious leaders had expressed concerns at the lack of people of faith in public office, he wrote on the Church Times website on Monday. “We need to change that. This is because people from all faiths bring important and informed perspectives to the difficult, contentious, and ethical questions which many of these public bodies tackle daily.”
Mr Dowden was attending an event at Windsor Castle organised by the training group Faith in Leadership, on Monday. “I want to urge faith leaders, as I did with business leaders at 10 Downing Street last week, to encourage fresh talent from all backgrounds and faiths to apply for public appointments, to help shape the public sector.
“Because, if we don’t tap that talent as a nation, we are missing a huge pool of expertise that can enrich public-service delivery.”
The National Lottery Community Fund, Social Work England, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group were among the bodies that would be looking to appoint new chairs or board members in the coming months, he said.
The Government was currently recruiting for more than 30 public appointments, he said. It appoints more than 1000 people to the boards of 550 public bodies, which, between them, spend more than £200 billion a year. “This is a chance for the brightest and the best to make a difference to the country in which we live,” Mr Dowden said.
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