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The BIG Society Building a Stronger Civil Society

The BIG Society Building a Stronger Civil Society

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The BIG Society Building a Stronger Civil Society

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  1. The BIG SocietyBuilding a Stronger Civil Society Simon Adams Head of Community Leadership Worcestershire County Council

  2. The Big Society is: A major change in how we all think • About public services • About local problems • About disadvantage

  3. A huge shift in power & responsibilities Astronger civil society The ‘demand side’- Stimulating the formation of social capital and support social action to take up and use this power Decentralisation & transparency The ‘supply side’, pushing power outwards from the centre to localities, communities, families and people

  4. What does this entail? • Social Action Culture change to influence peoples daily choices • Public Service Reform Giving professionals more freedom & involving new providers eg VS & SE • Community Empowerment Neighbourhoods who feel in charge of their own destinies

  5. Why decentralisation? • People and communities have greater control over the services in their locality • Diversity in local approaches releases innovation in public services - speed & resilience • Front line professionals respond to local preferences, with fewer constraints from the centre • People can hold local services & institutions to account more effectively than Whitehall.

  6. Government will not use a “one size fits all” approach to decentralisation! Must change happen everywhere? Yes No Universal Bespoke Yes Must the centre specify the approach used? Permissive Rights No Elected police commissioners London Mayor Local Enterprise Partnerships Free Schools

  7. Burdens, barriers and rights- Remove unnecessary legislation, targets & central prescription- Unlock the potential of communities to take action • CAA • Review of secondary legislation • Regional Spatial Strategies • Home Information Packs • Big Society Vanguards • Community Right to Buy • Right to Challenge • Community Right to Build • Community Plans

  8. Resources and the supply side- Greater local control of resources & budgets- Open up opportunities for new suppliers to provide public services • Removal of ring-fencing • Replace council tax capping with referenda • New Homes Bonus scheme • Community budgets • GP Commissioning • Free Schools • Right to Challenge • Mutuals / employee cooperatives

  9. Transparency and accountability- Ensure citizens have the information they need to make decisions about services and hold providers & representatives to account- Give citizens the power of individual choice, where this is not feasible strengthen collective accountability • CLG spend data • Local Govt spend data • The Combined Online Information System • • Enhancing choice in social care, health & education • Referenda on local issues • Elected police commissioners • Directly elected mayors in 12 cities

  10. Building the Big Society - some actions • Social Action • National Citizen Service • ‘Civic Service’ • Giving & Philanthropy • Public Service Reform • Right to ‘spin out’ • Support for mutuals, charities, social enterprises, co-operatives • Community Empowerment • Right to save local amenities • Support community organisers & groups • Reform of planning

  11. Building the Big Society – some more actions • Decentralisation • Devolution to Local Government • General power of competence • Return powers on planning & housing • Transparency • Right to ‘data’ • Publishing local crime statistics • Providing Finance • Move towards payment by results where possible • Big Society Bank

  12. Restoring personal and social responsibility: role of citizens and communities • Playing an active role in civic life • Holding service providers and politicians to account • Looking out for neighbours and the vulnerable • Identifying opportunities for self-help and community responsibility • Taking over the running of community assets

  13. We need to build on what is in place now Community and Voluntary Sector, and Social Enterprise

  14. Impacts on the Voluntary and Community Sector • Strong commitment to the Big Society • Strong commitment to greater diversity of supply • Strong commitment to decentralisation and localism • Changing the balance of Power • Reductions in Government Spending

  15. What charities, community organisations and social enterprises can do • Bring people together to identify needs and solve problems • Lead local activity, communicating what’s going on and how to get involved – and ask people directly • Create new opportunities that fit around modern lifestyles • Co-ordinate community events – let people know what’s going on and how they can get involved • Raise funds • Help communities to develop skills (e.g. fundraising) and confidence • Co-design and deliver services

  16. What Local Government can do • Be accountable for decisions made locally • Think neighbourhoods • Facilitate more, deliver less • Commission for the longer term – community benefits • Target funding and support • Empower others • Devolve decisions to the frontline

  17. What the state can do • Give power away – to local government, communities and citizens • Increase transparency and access to information • Remove barriers • Facilitate change (e.g. Big Society Bank, community organisers, community first ) • Nudge in the right direction • Empower others (including through intermediaries and institutions) • Be the change we want to see (e.g. civic service for civil servants)