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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Big Society - Right Stick, Wrong End


All three major political parties have grasped that the state alone cannot deliver the best quality of life for citizens, especially those living in the most disadvantaged communities. It requires a partnership with their citizens. The Labour Government had the first go with the ‘Communities in Control’ policy. Now the coalition government is running with ‘Big Society’.

They are all grasping the right stick but I suspect it is being grasped by the wrong end. In all my years of working with communities and neighbourhoods, I have never met anyone who wants to take over the running of public services. Rather people want to do those things that only they can do - taking action that is complementary to, and enhancing, that of the state.

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