An overview of the Big Society and the role of the voluntary and community sector.Jump to full report >>
The Prime Minister’s concept of a “Big Society” was a much talked about element of the Conservative Party Manifesto of 2010 and then the Coalition’s Programme for Government. The concept involves three main strands:
Subsequent policy developments included the introduction of a National Citizen Service, the setting up of Big Society Capital, a renewed Compact agreement, and measures to improve the voluntary sector’s role in providing public services.
The “Big Society” also featured in the Conservative Manifesto of 2015; this referred to:
A January 2015 “Big Society Audit” by Civil Exchange argued that while there had been some “genuinely positive initiatives”, the Big Society had not reached those who needed it most – those with least power and influence. The then Government said the report did not fairly reflect the “significant progress” that had been made.
This note provides further background to the Big Society; the role of the voluntary and community sector; some of the Government’s initiatives; and a selection of comment.
Commons Briefing papers SN05883
Author: John Woodhouse
Topic: Voluntary organisations
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