What is Big Society?
“Big Society is…where people in their everyday lives, in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their workplace…don’t always turn to officials, local authorities, or central government for answers to the problems they face…but instead feel free and powerful enough to help themselves and their communities”
(David Cameron, July 2010)
The Big Society is an ambition of the Coalition Government “to put more power and opportunity into people’s hands”. They identify this as the responsibility of every department of Government and every citizen. Big Society is rooted in a huge culture change, shifting power “from politicians to people” by:
- Empowering communities: giving local councils and neighbourhoods more power to take decisions and shape their area.
- Opening up public services: enabling charities, social enterprises, private companies and employee-owned co-operatives to compete to offer people high quality services.
- Promoting social action: encouraging and enabling people from all walks of life to play a more active part in society and promoting more volunteering and philanthropy.
You can find more detail about the different elements of Big Society here
Big Society in Leicestershire
Locally, we have consulted upon and agreed four aspirations, which turn the messages from the government into clear, understandable ideas:
Aspiration 1: Everyone can be involved in their community
Aspiration 2: Everyone has opportunities to influence decisions that affect them
Aspiration 3: Local people are able to shape and deliver public services
Aspiration 4: Local people and organisations grow the Big Society together
You can see some of the barriers to delivering these aspirations identified by people during the consultation process here.
View Feedback from the 'Big Conversations' about the 'Big Society' at the Communtiy Forum meetings 2010
The Big Society should be owned by everyone. There are some things that public services, businesses and voluntary and community organisations can do to encourage and support it, but it will only happen with buy in from across Leicestershire as a whole. We see our role as helping individuals/communities to help themselves.
Funding to support Big Society
Leicestershire County Council has made £500,000 of new funding available to help support the growth of Big Society in Leicestershire. The majority of this will be allocated directly to communities via the Big Society Grant Fund. £320,000 is also available for communities to bid for, through the Community Forum Budgets process.
Cabinet Lead Member for the Big Society
Cllr Pam Posnett is the County Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for the Big Society.
Scrutiny Review Panel on the Big Society
In September 2011, the Council agreed to continue the Big Society Scrutiny Review Panel’s investigations into how Leicestershire could best prepare for this emerging policy. The Panel initially met between November 2010 and January 2011 and agreed its interim recommendations with the Cabinet.
The Panel met on a further eight occasions between September 2011 and April 2012 to look at, amongst other issues, how best social enterprises could be supported.
The recommendations in the Panel’s Final Report were accepted by the Cabinet and the Panel’s Final Report can be viewed here.
Page Last Updated: 20 May 2013