Parliamentary Big Society report released
The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee has published its report into the Big Society. The report examines how Whitehall is responding to the Big Societyand whether the government is on track to meet its objectives. NAVCA submitted evidence to the committee and the report extensively quotes Kevin Curley, NAVCA's Chief Executive, who gave evidence to the committee.
The report says that the Big Society will not occur overnight, it will take a generation. It says that the government has failed to communicate this and the public are confused by it. The Work Programme has also caused the voluntary and community sector to express serious reservations about the implementation of the Government's ambitions in practice.
It calls for a single Big Society Minister with a cross-cutting brief, to drive through the Big Society agenda and an impact assessment, applied to every Government policy, statutory instrument, and new Bill, which asks the simple question: "what substantively will this do to build social capital, people power, and social entrepreneurs?" The report warns that without this the Big Society agenda will fail.
Kevin's evidence is quoted frequently in the final report, including his warning that social investment will not adequately replace other traditional methods of funding being cut and the problems local charities were facing with commissioning.
Kevin Curley, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said:
"I really appreciated the opportunity give evidence to the committee and try to explain what was needed to support local voluntary action. I am gratified that the committee have listened to my evidence and have come out so strongly with recommendations to help the 'little society'.
"They have understood the problems local charities and voluntary organisations face with the commissioning agenda, particularly with the work programme. This report supports the arguments NAVCA has been making for the last 18 months. If the Big Society is to succeed the government must act in support of 'little society'. That means commissioning policies need to help local organisations not just the big nationals."