Is it a great BIG innovation or a great BIG con? The Big Society, re-launched this week by the Prime Minister, is still something which seems to puzzle most people. Many believe it is a cover for the massive spending cuts which are emerging from both central and local government. For example, “we’ll close your library unless you can find volunteers to work there for nothing”
According to one description it is about “empowering” local people, encouraging them to take an active part in their local community. According to the Daily Mail, to this end, 500 paid Senior Organisers are to be employed to ‘empower’ citizens to ‘shape the services that matter to them’, (and who) are to receive a wage of £20,000 in the first year of their four-year training programme. Known as a neighbourhood army, they will supervise 4,500 unpaid part-time workers and volunteers. They will first appear on the streets in ten areas including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cornwall and Norfolk.
Then there is the Web Site “Big Society Network” which has the following statement:-
The Big Society Network exists to generate, develop and showcase new ideas to help people come together to do good things. An untapped social energy exists in our villages, towns and cities that if unleashed could help us build a bigger, better and happier country. We will work in partnership to deliver innovative solutions and share what we learn with you.
I have looked at the Web Site (click click here) read various blurbs about it, but still don’t really understand what is so innovative about Cameron’s BIG SOCIETY. Much of what is being suggested or proposed is no more or less than is happening already via the Churches. Will the Big Society be the success that David Cameron thinks? I have my doubts but I’ve been wrong before!!!