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The Big Society - Essay Example

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Introduction The Big Society was a flagship policy notion that was published in the 2010 general election manifesto of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. At present, it remains a component of the legislative program of the Coalition Agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrats (BBC News, 2010)…
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The Big Society

Download file to see previous pages... The Big Society program is pertinent to England’s domestic policy alone. However, these policy areas are passed on to the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The beginning The idea of Big Society, initiated in the Conservative manifesto was depicted in rather glowing terms by The Times in these words as an "an impressive attempt (The Times, 2010). To counsel the British Government on the proposed program, David Cameron employed Nat Wei, a founder-member of the well-known Teach First charity. The program envisages the establishment of a Big Society Bank and introduction of a national citizen service (Wiggins, 2010). The main characteristics of the same are as follows: More power to the communities (devolution). Transferring power from the central to the local government. Encouraging individuals to take an active part in their respective communities (volunteerism). Support to co-ops, charities, mutuals as well as social enterprises. Publish pertinent government data (transparent government). Measures to implement the program In 2011, major banks in the U.K. consented to provide ?200million as funds to the Big Society Bank (Giotis, 2011), apart from the funds to be utilized from those bank accounts that are lying dormant (Prince, 2010). It is reported that the British government has plans to release ?78billion in charitable assets to big society and accord up to 25 per cent of public service contracts to the voluntary as well as the private sector (Wintour, 2011). Discussions on the program Positive According to Simon Parker, who is the Director of New Local Government Network what is new about Big Society is that it spells out the extent of change required and it is a whole system shift (Parker, 2011).Ben Rogers of the Financial Times opined that the most remarkable factor about Cameron's address delivered at the Conservative Party Conference was on his notion, the Big Society. The speech signified that many of the political tribulations that confronts Mr. Cameron can be dealt with only if citizens are willing to play their part. According to the right wing newspaper The Spectator, it was Cameron’s hope to minimize fiscal shortfalls by dipping into bank accounts lying dormant and it is a bright idea in theory (Blackburn, 2010). Benedict Brogan in The Telegraph’s wrote that people expect their would-be leaders, to have vision and the PM offers a really big one, of a society re-erected from the ground up (Brogan, 2010). Negative To Labor MP, Ed Miliband, the Conservatives were "cynically attempting to dignify its cuts agenda, by dressing up the withdrawal of support with the language of reinvigorating civic society"(Watt, 2010). The Liverpool City Council of late pulled out of a pilot scheme, stating that the government’s current spending cuts is undermining the very future of volunteer groups. A former executive director of Community Service Volunteers, Dame Elisabeth Hoodless has expressed the same opinion. According to a recent independent audit report Cameron’s "big society" scheme is in danger of getting derailed by cruel cuts to grassroots voluntary organizations. It is also threatened by a breakdown in trust amid the very people that the administration is supposed to deliver its promising vision. The ?3.3 billion cut in government spending earmarked for the voluntary sector for three forthcoming years is said to be a body blow to the whole project (Butler, 2012). To this criticism Cameron counters by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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