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Big Society...Simples!

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Big Society...Simples!3

Governance | Gordon Hunter | 18 Oct 2010

Big Society blogger Gordon Hunter asks whether the Big Society agenda is just too simple to implement.

I’ve intercepted and am now sharing Professor Ockham’s razor sharp response to the Stronger Civil Society white paper. Extracts follow:

We don’t need to improve links between infrastructure (cumbersome, self-interested and over-staffed) and grassroots groups (who should learn to help themselves). How best to spend infrastructure bursaries? Elementary:  ask grassroots groups what they want and what they get, then fund the gap.

Do we need a fund to encourage streamlining and mergers?  No, we can rely on natural selection, whereby the sustainable and fittest survive. It’s quicker and cheaper.

Can local partnerships generate a stronger civil society?  Yes, so long as you can demonstrate mutual benefit. In other words, it has to be real partnership with real objectives based on equality of information and transparency of action.

Ockham saw a way to generate Big Society through local action: activate local champions, give them real power (communications tools, funding targets), establish Local Action Trusts that work within real local partnerships, are self-sustaining and make a real difference to local communities.
 
Is it all too simple?

Gordon Hunter is director of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation

 

Jonathan Sillett
20 Oct 2010

I hate that bloody meerkat

Carl Allen
none
none
19 Oct 2010

There is no Big Society agenda.

There is a simple and very straight forward message: Do it yourself.

Marian Nicholson
Director
Herpes Viruses Association and Shingles Support Society
19 Oct 2010

Thank you Gordon, for saying what I have always thought. Our charity needs just £18,000 more to survive and continue doing what it has always done very well indeed for the last 25 years. Millions goes to these umbrella and infrastructure groups which, if divvied out to charities like ours (Herpes Viruses Association) would enable us to continue to provide valued services. "Pay the piper, not the manager" I say!

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Gordon Hunter

Gordon Hunter is director of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, which he started in 2002, and blogs for Civil Society on all things 'local'.  He has a background in HR and an ambition to expel all thoughtless jargon.

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