PASC Big Society Inquiry response
Urban Forum responded to the Government's inquiry on the Big Society.
We believe the starting point for community sustainability and resilience is self-organisation and collective action. We therefore support many of the objectives of Big Society, but feel that a number of issues need to be addressed if the opportunities it presents are to be realised:
The impact on disadvantage and inequality
There is a risk that greater reliance on civic action could result in a diversion of resources from areas that need them most and a loss of voice for minorities.
The timing and chronology of policy implementation
The timing, speed and the extent of public service cuts hamper the implementation of the Big Society agenda. VCS organisations are now struggling to survive, and public appetite/capacity for social and civic activity is reduced.
Putting localism in economic recovery and public service reform
Public service reform should lead to a blossoming of local providers close to communities, increased service-user involvement, and support local enterprise. The inverse of this is at risk of happening.
Making Government and public services more accountable
More needs to be done to strengthen and clarify the role of local government and councillors, and to apply measures on openness
Download our full response with the link, above right.