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The Big Society: News from the Frontline in Eden

Briefing Paper

August 2010

This paper summarises the government’s ‘Big Society’ policy with particular reference to the pilot in Eden.

The government’s ‘Big Society’ project was launched by David Cameron in Liverpool on 19th July 2010. As part of this, four areas have been identified as Vanguard Communities where it is intended to ‘turn government completely on its head’. These areas are Eden, Liverpool, Sutton and Windsor & Maidenhead.

David Cameron said:

“My great passion is building the Big Society. Anyone who’s had even a passing interest in what I’ve been saying for years will know that.

“The ‘Big Society’ is…something different and bold… It’s about saying if we want real change for the long-term, we need people to come together and work together – because we’re all in this together.

“(We want) Neighbourhoods who are in charge of their own destiny, who feel if they club together and get involved they can shape the world around them.

“If you’ve got an idea to make life better, if you want to improve your local area, don’t just think about it –tell us what you want to do and we will try and give you the tools to make this happen.”

David Cameron outlined what are to be thethree major strands of Big Society which include:

“First, social action. The success of the Big Society will depend on the daily decisions of millions of people – on them giving their time, effort, even money, to causes around them. So government cannot remain neutral on that – it must foster and support a new culture of voluntarism, philanthropy, social action.

“Second, public service reform. We’ve got to get rid of the centralised bureaucracy that wastes money and undermines morale. And in its place we’ve got to give professionals much more freedom, and open up public services to new providers like charities, social enterprises and private companies so we get more innovation, diversity and responsiveness to public need.

“And third, community empowerment. We need to create communities with oomph – neighbourhoods who are in charge of their own destiny, who feel if they club together and get involved they can shape the world around them.”

For the full briefing paper please click HERE

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