Share

Cabinet Office spokesman admits Big Society is still work in progress

Cabinet Office spokesman admits Big Society is still work in progress
News

Cabinet Office spokesman admits Big Society is still work in progress 1

Governance | Kirsty Weakley | 17 May 2012

Lord William Wallace of Saltaire, Cabinet Office spokesman in the House of Lords, told sector leaders yesterday that he "hopes" the government is making progress on delivering for civil society.

The Liberal Democrat peer (pictured far left) was opening the Civil Society Question Time debate yesterday with a progress report on the coalition government's first two years in power.

Wallace was a last minute stand-in at the event after minister for civil society, Nick Hurd, had to pull out for family reasons.

Wallace told delegates that it was more appropriate to ask whether the coalition government is delivering for civil society, instead of declaring that it is, "because this is a process".

"We all know you can't change policy on the ground too quickly," he said, "but I very much hope that we are making progress in a difficult time”.

He highlighted key policy initiatives such as Big Society Capital, National Citizen Service, and match funding for community endowments. He said he hoped that "by 2015 we will have a more active partnership that is more local than national - the localism agenda is very much part of that - which would help to bring more people in, not just to charitable giving, but also to local enterprise and local activity”.

Wallace added that: “The test of the Big Society agenda will be: in the long run how far can we revive local community and self get-up-and-go in some of the toughest areas?”

He explained that in recent years a "sense of dependence on state agencies" combined with hostility to those same state agencies had evolved on many council estates in Britain, and that the biggest challenge for government is getting those people to join in.

Wallace stressed that the difficult economic circumstances and the fact that public demand for high-quality public services and low taxes meant it was not possible to give any more to the sector.

Speaking later, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO who was also taking part in the event, said: “Even if it was a different financial situation we would have to develop a system of mutual support above that.”

And he added: “I would like to see more of a discussion about how you generate more associational mutuality and co-operation amongst groups of citizens rather than just a contractual relationship.”

Lord Wallace agreed and said: “The demand for services is unavoidably outstripping what people are prepared to accept the government will pay for.

“We have to rebuild much more local engagement, self-help, volunteers working with public service provision in order to provide elderly care, the help for small children."

 

Hilary Barnard
Principal Consultant
HBMC
17 May 2012

Lord Wallace argued that “The test of the Big Society agenda will be: in the long run how far can we revive local community and self get-up-and-go in some of the toughest areas?”
What is the short term, say year on year, test of the Big Society agenda that can help establish whether it has helped communities and delivered for the third sector?

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Charity shop growth at the lowest level for years

2 Oct 2014

The charity shops sector is still growing, but more slowly than before, according to the Charity Shops...

Tearfund chief executive steps down

2 Oct 2014

Tearfund chief executive Matthew Frost has announced he will step down from his role after almost a decade...

New buying group formed to support growth of social care charities

1 Oct 2014

A new membership group was launched today to support the growth of health and social care charities and...

Charity shop growth at the lowest level for years

2 Oct 2014

The charity shops sector is still growing, but more slowly than before, according to the Charity Shops...

Half of charities do not claim gift aid, 2014 SONI report suggests

2 Oct 2014

The proportion of UK charities reporting no income from gift aid increased eight percentage points to...

IoF calls for annual income cap on society lotteries to be raised from £10m to £100m

1 Oct 2014

The Institute of Fundraising is calling for the annual income cap on society lotteries to be increased...

Half of charities do not claim gift aid, 2014 SONI report suggests

2 Oct 2014

The proportion of UK charities reporting no income from gift aid increased eight percentage points to...

New organisation to arrange free data security support for charities

1 Oct 2014

A new scheme matching up IT professionals from the private sector to provide free advice on security and...

JustGiving page for Manchester Dogs’ Home receives four donations a second

15 Sep 2014

JustGiving has said that donations going to an appeal for the Manchester Dogs’ Home following an arson...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<