Questions• What is govt. policy on Big Society• Are they still committed to it ?• How does volunteerism fit into the BS?• What are some of the key issues ?• How is it impacting on Portsmouth ?
The Big Society Idea• What is it?• What are the key words you think of ?• Empowering local communities and individuals• Social responsibility• Using social capital• philanthropy
Evidence of government commitment• Creation of Office of Civil Society in Cabinet Office headed by Minister Nick Hurd• Strategy designed to encourage social action, build social capital, help civil society play bigger role in shaping society & public services• HOW? by transferring power to communities, opening up public services, encouraging social action and cutting red tape – removing central regulation
How have the done that??? Encouraging social action?• Encouraging philanthropy ( GP on Giving )• CG Money to assist communities and VOs to bid to take over public services• Support creation of mutuals and front line workers with mentors- John Lewis• National Citizen Service- young people and community projects ( 2014 /90,000)• Community Organizers• Community First Programmes to help community groups to implement plans (new October 2011)• Social Action Fund• Social Enterprise Investment Fund• Adventure Capital Fund
Cameron challenges the critics• Too vague – there is no blue print because it is bottom up, evolving, about cultural change• It is a cover up for cuts- the idea predates the cuts and make some decisions more difficult but it is a long term strategy• It is a middle class idea – evidence it works in all types of communities• People are responding- free schools, public mutuals forming, charities etc bidding to provide public services
The Localism Act• General competency to local authorities• Community right to challenge• Community right to bid• Community right to veto excessive council tax rises• HOWEVER the act has nor been implemented yet and we may find these powers are surrounded by regulations !!!!
VOLUNTEERING• What is new? – BIG Society already exists• England always had a strong and diverse charitable sector – rich tradition of volunteering• However tend to be mainly older generation, retired people who do we want to get involved?• Younger people, people with skills and knowledge, businesses.
What do we want volunteers to do?• Staff our libraries/• Keep our public gardens tidy?• Neighbourhood watch?• Good neighbour schemes>• Become school governors?• Bid to provide public services• Create social enterprises• Fund raising?• ???????
Why do people volunteer ?• Altruism?• Experience• Looks good on the CV• Social expectation• Religious principle• Networking• ?????
Issues• Unemployment especially youth unemployment- whose responsibility?• Public safety- people afraid to go out at night?• Skills profile in Portsmouth? Which jobs can be handed over to VOL Orgs• What help do we give to young entrepreneurs ?• How can we create a culture of social responsibility