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Views of the week - 2 June 2011

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LGC rounds up the best comment, analysis and opinion from the past week.


Independent… on Big Society

The problem with the Big Society agenda is less public recognition than public cuts. The scale of spending reductions being forced on councils is already undermining third sector organisations and charities that rely on local authorities for part of their funding. And these are the very bodies that the government says should play a greater role in the provision of public services.

Public funding is not everything in the charity sector but it is more important than Mr Cameron and others seem to understand. So is time. The government cannot expect charities to leap into areas where the state is rapidly withdrawing.

The Big Society is, in principle, a respectable idea. It makes sense to empower charities and encourage people to volunteer in their community. But what the Big Society needs is not a gimmick-laden relaunch, but a financial rethink.


Pick of the Blogs

Big Society relaunch: the risks

John Tizard, director, Centre for Public Service Partnerships

I detect enthusiasm for aspects of the Big Society but many excellent opportunities and initiatives could be undermined.

In many places, local authorities, the third sector, faith groups, businesses and citizens share a commitment to enhance civil society. However, this commitment is usually aimed at complementing state activity, not replacing it. There is a risk that the government’s confusion about what it means by Big Society and its conflation with other policies, such as cutting expenditure, will stifle what could be a liberating initiative.

Full blog available on



erthica: Wouldn’t it be nice if the architcts of the big society, i.e. the cabinet, used their one day to help a child carer?

robertashton1: #bigsociety is like a coalmine - we need the fuel but the pitfalls are frequent and damaging - it’s coaldust not egg on #Cameron’s face!

BbiteTom: The Big Society (Conservative) and now Family wealth (Labour). Is that a Labour trait that each generation should be better off than the last?

cafonline “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill

OnlyDads I think we should all clean our black bins now. It’s a kind thing to do. I look on it as my contribution to #bigsociety

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