The National Citizen Service was a scheme that was the championed by our former Prime Minister David Cameron. I was there when he launched the idea at an event which was held at Amir Khan’s Gym in Bolton before the 2010 general election. Basically, National Citizen’s Service involves a young person attending a three week structured scheme where they attend a residential course and also get involved in community and charity week. For many young people it is the first time they have ever been apart from their parents.
The National Citizen’s Service Bill establishes a statutory basis for the scheme. It was announced in the Autumns Statement in 2015 that the scheme is being expanded from 80,000 places a year to 300,000 places a year by 2020. The present NCS Trust which is the overarching body controlling the scheme will be established a Charter body by a Royal Charter to guarantee its future independence from government and party politics. The Bill which has already been through the House of Lords was given an unopposed second reading after the debate yesterday.
Today is an opposition day with the debates in the main chamber being decided on by the Scottish National Party. In Westminster Hall there is a debate on the future of the Pennine Acute NHS Trust and so I will be attending that debate.